Rogues in the ranks of selling organizations: Using corporate ethics to manage workplace bullying and job satisfaction

Sean Valentine, Gary Fleischman, Lynn Godkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The literature recognizes that the sales profession is an inherently competitive and self-interested occupation that can be negatively impacted by deviant behavior and rationalizations of unethical conduct. The unique boundary-spanning nature and autonomy of such work means that there is often little management oversight of sales professionals' behavior, which may lead to misbehavior and poor work attitudes. Yet, evidence suggests that the development of corporate ethical values (CEVs) can mitigate concerns about unethical conduct, suggesting that these principles might be used to reduce workplace bullying and enhance job satisfaction. Using a self-report questionnaire, information was collected from national and regional samples of selling professionals employed in different organizations located in the USA (N = 356). While controlling for the effects of sampling and social desirability, results indicated that increased communication of an ethics code was associated with stronger perceptions of CEVs, while ethical values were negatively related to perceptions of workplace bullying and positively related to job satisfaction. Workplace bullying was also negatively related to job satisfaction. The findings suggest that an ethical work environment should be instituted in sales organizations to reduce misconduct and enhance work attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-163
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Corporate ethical values
  • Job satisfaction
  • Workplace bullying


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