Impact of employees’ perceived threat of market competition on unethical marketing and selling practices: Moral disengagement and ethical leadership

Salim Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, Adnan Muhammad Shah, Liaqat Ali, Rizwan Ullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study draws on the social cognitive theory to examine the effect of perceived market competition on employees’ unethical marketing and selling practices. The boundary conditions associated with this relationship were examined, and we posit that perceived market competition is related to unethical marketing and selling practices through the mediating mechanism of moral disengagement. We further propose that ethical leadership moderates the relationship between the perceived threat of market competition, moral disengagement, and tendency toward unethical marketing and selling practices. We tested our hypotheses with a sample of 387 employees working in the banking sector in Pakistan. Our results suggest that moral disengagement had a full mediation effect between the perceived threat of market competition and tendency of employees toward unethical marketing and selling practices. Moreover, ethical leadership moderated the relationship between moral disengagement and the tendency of employees toward unethical marketing practices. The research findings indicate that when field employees encounter threat perceptions due to market competition, they have a propensity toward engaging in unethical marketing and selling practices when they can activate moral disengagement. This study also found that ethical leadership negatively moderates the relationship of moral disengagement with employees’ tendency toward unethical marketing and selling practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-771
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Ethics, Environment and Responsibility
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Philosophy

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