Title: E-marketing ethics: a theory of value priorities

Authors: Jan Mattsson, Jacob Dahl Rendtorff

Addresses: Department of Social Sciences, Roskilde University, P.O. Box 260, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark. ' Department of Social Sciences, Roskilde University, P.O. Box 260, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark

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.

Keywords: ethical issues; axiology; value priorities; e-marketing; online marketing; internet marketing; ethics; formal theory; e-advertising; internet advertising; online advertising; e-business; electronic business; autonomy; dignity; integrity; vulnerability; theory of values.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2006.008972

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2006 Vol.3 No.1, pp.35 - 47

Available online: 09 Feb 2006 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article