Social facts and ethical hardware: Ethics in the value proposition

Graham Spickett-Jones, Philip J. Kitchen, Jon D. Reast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Providing a framework for integrating aspects of externally directed corporate and marketing communication efforts, this paper makes a case for the communication of positive and credible ethical values as a potentially critical component in communications strategy and sustainable competitive advantage. Using an uncertainty-reduction model adapted from the diffusion literature, it is suggested that appropriately communicated moral and ethical values can have a role in underpinning an organisation’s reputation and “trusted capacities”, thereby heightening confidence in likely future actions, offering a predictive mechanism for lowering uncertainty in market transactions, and facilitating a potential to trade by offering a rationale for an organisation’s secure market position. Underpinned by ethical principles, the paper proposes implications for the role of “reputation for trustworthiness” and its symbolic evocation. It is argued that a reputation can become accepted as a social “fact”, able to endure critical interrogation in its social environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Communication Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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