Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Supplement 1, pp 11–23 | Cite as

Moral Schemas and Business Practices: The Ethics of Guangzhou Migrant Marketers

  • Alicia S. M. Leung
  • Xiangyang Liu
  • Shanshi Liu


This article explores the ethics of migrant marketers in Guangzhou. Data were collected from 357 migrant marketers who lived in Guangzhou. A model of Ethical Action has been developed to test the antecedents and outcomes of the ethical decision-making process. It measured moral intention using four ethical scenarios. The results show that the egoistic schema had a positive effect on their intention to act unethically, while the legislative schema exerted a negative effect. The results confirm that moral intention was a strong predictor of an individual’s subsequent actual behavior, and it fully mediated the influence of the legislative schema on actual behavior. This study adds to ethics literature by incorporating the construct of social identity and found a moderating effect between the legislative schema and moral intention. The relationships were stronger for individuals who were lower rather than higher in social identity. Analysis of these results lead to a discussion of the implications for marketing ethics in China.


egoistic schema legislative schema social identity Guangzhou marketers 


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Guangzhou Philosophy and Social Development Research Fund 2005.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alicia S. M. Leung
    • 1
  • Xiangyang Liu
    • 2
  • Shanshi Liu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Management, School of BusinessHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong
  2. 2.South China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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