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E-marketing ethics: a theory of value priorities
by Jan Mattsson, Jacob Dahl Rendtorff
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (IJIMA), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2006


Abstract: This paper presents a framework for treating ethical issues in e-marketing. Business ethics in e-marketing reflects many of the general ethical concerns of marketing. Therefore, we start by recalling some of the ethical problems that confront the marketing profession. On this basis, we argue for more emphasis on basic ethical principles to protect the autonomy, dignity, integrity and vulnerability of human persons and of different stakeholder groups. However, such general concerns must be accomplished with a framework for decision-making by marketers with regard to concrete priorities in the daily work of marketing and advertising in the digital environment. In order to cope with this need for a decision-making frame we propose a formal theory of values that can be the basis for a concrete approach to values in e-marketing. Such a formal theory of the value realm (Hartman, 1967) can be used to make an overview of different kinds of ethical challenges firms face when implementing e-marketing and e-advertising. Eighteen value types and nine value levels, we argue, can be used as a frame with the intent to illustrate ethical dilemmas in e-business.

Online publication date: Thu, 09-Feb-2006


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