Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 18, 2007

Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Meeting

Scott R. Colwell, Michael J. Zyphur
Pages 9-11

Switching Costs as a Potential Motivator of Organizational Decoupling of Ethical Supplier Commitments

Over the last decade, the news media have reported on corporate scandals involving high-profile organizations such as Arthur Anderson, AOL Time Warner, Enron, Halliburton, Kmart, and Xerox. In 2001, the Conference Board of Canada noted that supplier relationships represent some of the most common ethical problems in the private sector, and estimated that 95% of corporations in the United States and 86% of corporations in Canada have implemented ethical codes of conduct and are espousing their commitment to building relationship with ethical suppliers. While a significant amount of research on corporate ethics has been published (for examples see Akaah and Riordan 1989; Cullen et al. 2003; Román and Ruiz 2005; Schminke et al. 2005; and Weaver et al. 1999a, 1999b), what still remains unknown is how and when a supplier’s ethical code of conduct matters to the buyer making decisions regarding their choice of suppliers.