The moral dilemma of salesmanship: Sources, modes and moral hierarchies of purposeful communication

  • Hugh H. Kramer


The moral dilemma of salesmanship extends to the roots of our economic system. It may competitive economic system customers must be persuaded to buy. Where does persuasion end? Where does manipulation and coercion begin? This paper attempts to idemtify the fine line that seperates information from persuasion and manipulation from coercion. Most decisions, indeed, involve moral implications. A model of egoistic and group-related values provides examples of the conflict of different moral hierarchies. At the end a few pointers describe ways of how creative selling can be made more effective and ethically responsible.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh H. Kramer

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