The Marketing Ethics Course: Current State and Future Directions

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Many of the critical issues facing modern businesses can be considered marketing ethics issues. It follows that as the field of business ethics has evolved, marketing has played a key role in the development of business ethics education. Despite a general trend of increasingly larger amounts of ethical content included in business curricula, prior studies have shown there are no significant numbers of courses specifically designed with a focus on marketing ethics in university business programs. This exploratory study examines the current implementation of the stand-alone marketing ethics course. Using a comparative case study method, we describe a variety of different approaches currently being used in the definition and delivery of stand-alone marketing ethics courses. We offer recommendations for the future of the marketing ethics course and discuss related research opportunities. Our goal is to inform and inspire further development and refinement of marketing curricula that incorporate marketing ethics content.