International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management

Values Driving Decisions In Questionable Purchasing Situations Members Only Content

This article assesses the values that drive some of the ethical considerations of supplier management decisions. Seven values were included in five scenarios in which research participants made a decision and described why it was made. The research found that the participants, purchasing professionals employed primarily by manufacturing firms in midwestern states, make decisions predominately using the values of professional responsibility, beneficence, justice, and truth—and less frequently the values of autonomy, confidentiality, and harm avoidance. The research also indicated different patterns of value application, depending on the questionable purchasing situation confronting a purchaser. In addition, the data suggest that the respondents reacted more ethically to questionable situations than has been reported in previous studies. Finally, the values chosen by the sample suggest that purchasers function well in collaborative buyer-seller relationships, use a total cost concept when necessary, and understand the effect of their actions on the competitive posture of their companies.

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