School of Business

A simulation of moral behavior within marketing exchange relationships

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Description: This investigation uses a simulated business-to business sales context to examine five individual moral philosophies (true altruists, true egoists, realistic altruists, tit-for-tats, and realistic egoists). The simulation is based on the Iterative Prisoner's Dilemma and its associated payoffs, employing computer-generated sales agents that represent different companies and industries. The agents were selected randomly across 1,000 rounds, and interacted with exchange partners according to the moral philosophies noted. In some cases, various corporate cultures were added to determine their impact on the evolution and final mix of philosophical orientations of agents within firms. Simulation results indicate the importance of ethical behavior on the long-term financial success of companies as well as the larger industries in which they participate.
Format: Article