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Exploring Ethics in E-Marketing for Responsible Leadership

International Journal on Leadership

Volume 7 Issue 2

Published: 2019
Author(s) Name: Bodh Raj Sharma | Author(s) Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, University of Jammu, J&K, India.
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Abstract

In the recent years, increased usage of the Internet has induced the marketers and customers for online selling and buying of products and services. E-marketing provides an opportunity to sell and purchase various brands of products having huge discounts; but at the same time, there are chances of frauds, deception, hacking, duplication, and other unethical practices in the e-marketing. This paper aims to explore the extent of customers’ perceived ethical virtues followed by the e-marketers for responsible leadership and dealing with customers. This empirical study is based upon the responses obtained from 200 customers through a questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of demographic variables along with the Likert scale items representing the customers’ perceived ethical practices. The reliability and validity of data were duly assessed through various measures. The exploratory factor analysis summarised the variables into four factors namely security, non-deception, reliability, and privacy. The findings indicate that customers perceived e-marketers as moderately ethical and suggested for more security, privacy, and reliability through formulation of ethical codes, publicising the unethical practices of concerns by media, and proactive role of regulatory bodies in promoting ethics in e-marketing for protecting the interest of various stakeholders. It is obvious that ethical practices lead to customer satisfaction, enhanced performance, and positive word of mouth thus edifying trust, commitment, and loyalty to e-marketers. Contrary to this, unethical practices by e-marketers make the customers dissatisfied, reduce performance, and spread irresponsible leadership as well as negative word of mouth about the company, which seriously tarnish the image of the company in the eyes of all stakeholders. The study will be highly useful for researchers, practitioners, marketers, and policy makers with new insights for research and formulation of policies with regard to ethics in e-marketing.

Keywords: Customers, E-marketing, Ethics, Stakeholders, Leadership

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