Impact of firms' policies on Chinese industrial purchasers' ethical decision making

Guijun Zhuang, Neil C. Herndon*, Alex S L TSANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the impact of firms' policies with respect to procurement, sales, and interfirm personal relationship ( guanxi) on industrial purchasers' inclination to adopt gray procurement (a particular type of unethical behaviors in industrial purchasing) using data from industrial purchaser's in China. The effect of a firm's purchasing policy on purchasers' behavioral intention towards gray procurement was, in addition to the direct effect, mediated by the purchasers' ethical judgment of the practice. The application of double standards (i.e., a firm forbids gray procurement by its own purchasers but tolerates its salespersons offering inducements to its customers' industrial purchasers) had both main effects and moderating effect on the purchasers' ethical judgment of the practice, which increases the purchasers' behavioral intention towards the practice. The two moderating effects of guanxi policy counteracted each other in direction, so jointly the effect of guanxi policy on the purchasers' intention may depend on the relative strength of the two moderating effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Ethical judgment
  • Firm policy
  • Gray procurement
  • Industrial purchaser
  • Organizational buying
  • Purchasing ethics


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