Researchers have considered individual and organizational factors of ethical decision making. However, they have little interest in situational factors (McClaren, Journal of Business Ethics 112(1):101–125, 2013) which is surprising given the many situations sales persons face. We address this issue using two pilot qualitative studies successively and a 2 by 2 withinsubject experiment with sales scenarios. Qualitative and quantitative data are obtained from front-line employees of the main French retail banks that serve low-income customers. We show that the recognition of an ethical issue difers depending on the role behavior salespersons are engaged in and the nature of the confict of interest they face. Moreover, the combined efect of these two situational characteristics is mediated by moral intensity. This study not only adds evidence on situational factors afecting ethical decision but also extends empirical research on sales ethics by revealing sales situations that are not considered in the empirical literature. The research implications of the fndings are discussed along with the study’s limitations and suggestions for future research.

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Keywords Ethical issue recognition · Moral intensity · Salesperson · Confict of interest · Role behavior
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Journal Journal of Business Ethics
Rousselet, E., Brial, B., Cadario, R., & Béji-Bécheur, A. (2020). Moral intensity, issue characteristics and ethical issue recognition in sales situations. Journal of Business Ethics. Retrieved from