MKTG5004 Business Research Methods: Critical Literature Review

pages Pages: 4word Words: 890

Question :

MKTG5004 Business Research Methods
Critical literature review

Assessment Brief


A critical review of literature should help you as a researcher get familiar with the relevant knowledge related to topic area of interest. 

You will need to write a critical literature review based on the list of topics provided to you. You will need to refine the topic further and find a suitable context to address for your literature review. Your literature review needs to fall within a business context.


  1. Introduction
  2. Describe the purpose of your literature review
  3. What does your literature review seek to understand better or solve?
  4. State your overall research question
  5. Methods
  6. Describe your approach for finding the literature
  7. Criteria you used to analyse the paper
  8. Body
  9. What were the key themes that emerged from the selected literature?
  10. Discuss points of disagreements/agreements between authors
  11. What were some of the key theories being examined, and how various scholars in the area applied/used them?
  12. Conclusion
  13. Summarize the main themes you identified and how it relates back to answering your research question
  14. What are the research gaps --- What has existing research not explored, or adequately explored yet?


  • Word Count: 2000 +/- 10% (excluding appendices and references)
  • Formatting: Times New Roman/Calibri/Arial, 12pt, 1.5 spacing, Justified
  • References: Chicago referencing ( and using a minimum of 10 academic references. If you are unsure what an academic reference is, please check with your tutor.
  • Other: Where applicable, you are encouraged to use other secondary data sources to support your discussion. Statistics and tables are also welcome but please ensure you explain their relevance.


  • Deadline: Please refer to Blackboard and the unit outline for specific date & time for submission
  • Other:  1 report electronically via TURNITIN on Blackboard

Topics to choose from:

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Sustainability
  • Workplace diversity
  • Leadership styles in the workplace
  • Ethical consumerism
  • Business ethics
  • International business
  • Cross-cultural communications
  • Business analytics

Show More

Answer :

Business Research: Business Ethics


The purpose of the literature review is to comprehend the aspects of business ethics. Ethics is about right and wrong doings. In business processes, assimilation of ethics ensures the right activities shall be carried out. The literature review seeks to understand the ethical aspects of business and the theories related to business ethics. 

Research Questions:

1. Does ethical aspects also follow in business?

2. Does ethical theory apply to business practices?


Literature for the report is extracted from the scholarly journals. Reliable data can be approached from journal articles. This process of approaching data can be regarded as secondary method of data collection. Criteria used for analysis of paper:

a. The journals which are cited by many researchers or scholars are approached.

b. Analysis of paper that have adequate literature about business ethics.

Literature Review

Ethics can be termed as a part of philosophy which guide business with values related to human behaviour. Particularly that human conduct for carrying out business activities with the just and unjust of definite actions as well as better and worst of the motives and results of such actions. The ethics can be defined as a condition in which individual exercises the moral standards by considering the situations; origin of ethics can be regarded from beliefs, values or traditions which have developed in communities about wrong and right behaviour (Vranceanu 2013).

Ethical Theories

Moral issues can be viewed by people with the help of five lenses. The first lens thinks about the highest balance of ethics over darkness, such a viewpoint agrees that each moral condition and predicament offers both pros and cons. Such a lens can be categorized as an ethical theory by the Utilitarian approach. The ethical field of activity can be defined as an action which forms a great perspective of good (Sama and Casselman 2014). The issue is that what can be better for an individual: culture or organization might become enemy to another. Such theory has an opinion that ethical action gives the highest good for the highest number. John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham is the classical utilitarian who had the opinion that there is a need to make the best use of good, which is being in relation to “the uppermost level of good for the utmost number". The outcomes and in which way their distribution matter are the views which are given by the consequentialism theory (Chan, Fung and Yau 2009).

The second ethical lens state the moral issues as a point of view on the basis of philosophy which individuals rely on and determine through their ability and dignity to serve their endurance easily.  Furthermore, have a supporting these decisions valued rendered their judgments do not trespass on the freedoms and preferences of others (Chan et al. 2015). Here theory has an opinion that every individual has a rationale for being approached as a whole and should be available with fidelity, safety, privacy, business ethics, and truth. The action is ethical in the rights theory, in case it gives respect to everyone's moral rights.

The philosophy of Aristotle is the base of the third ethical lens, it reveals that even should be treated evenly and who is inequitable should also be treated unevenly (Jondle, Ardichvili and Mitchell 2013). The concepts of unfairness and inequity are defined by the third lens and these are used in a framework of metrics for regulating the ethical nature, or unless of an act or inaction. The theory for fairness or justices reveals that benefits are provided by inclination for selecting little without a supporting analysis in order to choose them out. It asserts that bias force restraints on those individual who are alike to those on whom it is not forced. Hence, it makes the conclusion that biases and inequity are wrong in both single and joint ways as well as wrong and immoral therefore unethical. In leadership theory of stakeholder, justice and fairness are known as important issues (Norman 2011). Such theory asserts that an inclination of stakeholders for sanctioning or cooperating with the firm is their perception function of fair and unfair treatment which they perceive from the company. It is assumed by the researchers and practitioners that justice and fairness can be intersectional, procedural and distributive (Kulshrestha and Padiya 2011).

The challenges in ethical aspects can, consequently, begin in the acts or inactions of delivery of consequences; in the distribution processor in the interpersonal relationships between the individual and authority figures.

The fourth ethical lens relies on the theory that the fate of humanity that is joined and the good of the person are linked separately for the welfare of their community. A good theory is commonly observed that people are restrained from the pursuance of general purposes and values of the community (Vranceanu 2013). If actions and inactions are confirmed to expectations, beliefs and societal values then can be considered ethical. Usually, the better thing is related to an organization or societal culture, consideration is taken to making sure that those who can be affected are known as business ethics.

 Such lens resulted in the Kantian Ethics and Duty Ethics where importance is given for supporting continuously to ethical duties or principles for achieving the obligations for organization members. Motive and intent firmly decide the moral value of an inaction or action outcomes has no role in it. With the help of an ethical lens, reason decides firmly actions or inactions emotions have no role in it (Jondle, Ardichvili and Mitchell 2013). This community theory is also discussed in corporate management as stakeholder theory, where corporate leadership is required to be concerned about the consequences of their choices on more characters incomparable to the shareholders. It has been observed by the fifth ethical theory that fascinating central human ideals subsists which are discovered through a study that is provided for a full advancement of humanity for which all humankind has to strive for accomplishments. Such necessary human ideals are known as virtues. Honesty, prudence, self- control, fairness, integrity, fidelity, generosity, compassion and courage are such virtues (Kulshrestha and Padiya 2011). Virtues Ethics gives importance to the character role and the virtues which one contains in the examining or resolution of ethical behaviour.

Business ethics principle

Business ethics assure that a specific expected trust level shall exist between customers and participants of different market forms with the organization. In such a case, a portfolio manager needs to give related attention to the duties concerning small individual investors along with the members of the family. Such applications make sure that fair treatment shall be received by the public (Hasnas 2013).

In the year 1960s, concern for ethics in business war raised as organisations shifts their awareness further of an upcoming consumer-based society which noted matters in regards to the environment, corporate responsibility and social causes (Vranceanu 2013). The ethics in business persists ahead simply a moralistic code of wrong and right; it strives to accommodate what businesses must arrange judicially versus sustaining a rivalry edge across other companies. Firms promote ethics in business in a number of ways.

1. Honesty:  The Ethical leaders work honestly fully, they are not a decisive person. They are truthful in their dealings (Kulshrestha and Padiya 2011). They do not cheat others through the wrong means, unfair truths overstatements and misrepresentation. 

2. Integrity:  Executive leaders clearly reveal their personal integrity as well as their ability of their convictions through performing wrathful things which are right according to them. They are upright, honourable and principled they struggle for their beliefs. They don't make efforts to prove anything that is not wrathful, they are unscrupulous and hypocritical (Jondle, Ardichvili and Mitchell 2013).

3. Promise-keeping and integrity:  Such people are trustful. They provide our proper information and make corrections if something happens wrong, they try their best to fulfil all the promises and commitments. They don't do any illegal works and don't sign agreements that unreasonably technical or illegal mainly to rationalize non-compliance. They justify everything to make their commitments.

4. Loyalty: Such people are trustful, they are clearly showing their faithfulness and loyalty to persons and institutions through friendship, they support duty and they are the devotee of it. They never disclose confidential information which is for personal profits (Sama and Casselman 2014). They give protection to the ability for making independent judgements through easily neglecting the issues of interests and effects. They are not dishonest towards their co-workers and organization. In case they decide to change their organization to join a new one they give reasonable notice, give respect to closure information related to their former employer, they don't take advantage and involves in such activity which is illegal. 

5. Fairness: These leaders make just and fair deals, they don't misuse their power, they don't work only for their means or to get some advantage even they don't take advantage of others mistakes or faults (Kulshrestha and Padiya 2011). An individual who is fair when he makes commitments for justice,  he treats all persons equally,  he accepts diversity and when they are open minded, they easily commit that they are wrong if they make mistakes and in case there is any need to become appropriate they easily change their position and belief.

6. Concerning of others: Ethical leaders possess some qualities like they are kind, generous, kind-hearted and caring, they consider in the golden rule, they help those who need help, they try to successfully achieve business objectives and through the way they are less harmful and they have a highly positive.

7. Respect for others:  Ethical leaders clearly show express their respect for the rights, privacy, autonomy, human dignity and interests of those people who are involved in their decisions, they are humble and they treat equally all the people without any discrimination of national origin, race and sex.

8. Law Abiding: Ethical leaders are bound by rules and regulations and laws as related to their activities of the business (Norman 2011)

9. Commitment to Excellence: Ethical leaders try to achieve excellence performing their duties, they are prepared and well informed, and they make regular efforts in order to increase the proficiencies.

10. Leadership:  Ethical leaders are aware of their responsibilities and chances of their leadership position and they try to become a positive ethical role model through their own conduct and they can create an environment where the importance is given to ethical decision making and principled reasoning (Chan, Fung and Yau 2009).

11. Reputation and Morale: Ethical executives look for protecting and building a good image of the company as well as the morale of its workers through involving them in no conduct which may undermine respect and through taking actions which are for correction or controlling those conducts of others which are not appropriate.

12. Accountability:  The ethical executives get to know and accept their accountabilities personally; it is for ethical fairness of their judgment and not including to themselves, their communities, their companies and their co-workers (Melkevik 2018).

Acting ethically conclusively suggests ascertaining the ''rights" and “wrong.” Essential norms endure almost the world which delivers what is unethical or wrong in reference to the practices of business. For instance, precarious working situations are usually recognised unethical for the reason that, they set employees in crisis (Kline 2011). It may possibly resemble a congested workplace where the door for exit is only one. The employees could become ensnared or may continue overwhelmed on while everyone goes for the single means of exit.


The theme of the report concludes that- Business ethics is the revision of practices and policies of business that are correct or rights as well as practices on the subject of potentially arguable concern, for instance- corporate social responsibility, discrimination, bribery, insider trading, corporate governance along with the fiduciary responsibilities. Over and over again, the law also steer business ethics, at the same time as erstwhile era business ethics endow with a fundamental agenda that company may chase to achieve public acceptance. The existing research does not explore the effects of ethics in business. As the research`s scope is limited to gain the understanding of business ethics and the theories along with the principles that use to be practiced in business ethics.