Cure or Sell: How Do Pharmaceutical Industry Marketers Combine Their Dual Mission? An Approach Using Moral Dissonance
Bourcier-Béquaert, Bénédicte; Baïada-Hirèche, Loréa; Sachet-Milliat, Anne (2022), Cure or Sell: How Do Pharmaceutical Industry Marketers Combine Their Dual Mission? An Approach Using Moral Dissonance, Journal of Business Ethics, 175, 3, p. 555-581. 10.1007/s10551-020-04657-4
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameJournal of Business Ethics
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ESSCA School of Management, France
Dauphine Recherches en Management [DRM]
Groupe de Recherche Angevin en Economie et Management [GRANEM]
Abstract (EN)Pharmaceutical industry marketers are confronted with specific ethical issues linked to the tension between the economic interest being pursued and the health mission of this sector. Indeed this dual mission could be problematic for them when the two objectives contradict each other. We use the concept of moral dissonance to examine how marketers in the pharmaceutical industry perceive the profit/health tension inherent in their sector and how they deal with it. Based on narratives of 18 marketers working in the pharmaceutical sector, our qualitative study identifies ethical conflicts of varying intensity that generate differing degrees of moral dissonance among marketers. To cope with this moral dissonance, they use the following strategies: (1) minimize the sensitivity of their activity; (2) invoke the benefits to patients; and (3) avoid behaviors that conflict with their values.
Subjects / Keywordsmarketing practitioner; Pharmaceutical industry; self-justifications; Neutralization techniques; narratives
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