Can customer loyalty be explained by virtue ethics? The Chinese way

Asian Journal of Business Ethics 4 (1):101-115 (2015)
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Virtue ethics is regarded as the key in search of moral excellence among corporations. Yet, there are limited works to empirically investigate what virtuous character morally good corporations is expected to exhibit in the course of business from the perspective of customers. To fill this gap, we argue that customers are to evaluate firm’s virtuous character using Confucian cardinal virtues (ren, yi, and li) and perceived virtuousness determines customer loyalty. We test this argument using a sample of 276 Hong Kong Chinese. The result suggests that a corporation not only has to offer a good value and high quality to customers but also needs to develop and acquire virtuous character in retaining customer loyalty. Firm has to embrace ren, yi, and li as the primary business goal. In fact, they are not the means but the end in themselves. The continuous pursuit of these cardinal virtues at the firm level not only establishes proper corporate values but also enables a firm to act morally in the course of business. Such kind of firm is known as junzi corporation.



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Virtue and Reason.John Mcdowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
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Humanizing Business.Geoff Moore - 2005 - Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (2):237-255.
The concept of man in early China.Donald J. Munro - 1969 - Stanford, Calif.,: Stanford University Press.

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