The Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Law Transgressions: an Australian Perspective
Since the 1970s, a number of models have been developed that investigate the reasons why firms break the law. None of these, however, have focussed on why firms transgress laws specifically related to marketing, nor have they recognized the dynamic nature of the transgression process. Based on the extant literature, and a framework of motive, opportunity, and control, a model of transgressing the law was developed that formed the basis of empirical testing within a marketing context. Previous research has focussed on the factors that have led to a previous transgression and the factors that have impacted on intent to engage in questionable behaviour in the future. This model looks to link past and future behaviour by recognising the changes that occur in the firm as the result of a previous transgression being detected, and how these changes impact on the likelihood that future transgressions will occur. It is recognised that the commission of the transgression is not the end of the process, as experiences associated with committing the transgression, getting caught, and subsequent penalties will most likely influence decisions regarding future transgressions. This model also introduces the concept of unintentional illegality through a lack of knowledge of the law. The model is empirically tested using a combination of secondary data and a survey of marketing managers from Australia. The results find evidence that the transgression of marketing law is a dynamic process and show that control mechanisms, in particular, are effective in reducing the incidence of transgression.