Unethical practices and online business: perspectives of DSMM users


  • Yawo Edem Saba Catholic University of Eastern Africa




Ethics, DSSM, Business, Marketing


The purpose of this paper was to review literature related to unethical practices and online business. The aim is to understand the perspectives of digital social media and mobile (DSMM) users. In order to do so, this paper was guided by five key objectives: to investigate the nature and types of unethical practices that are unique in online business, to determine the causes of unethical online business practices, to determine how users of DSMM are affected by the unethical practices/behaviors, to identify how the unethical practices/behaviors in online businesses can be minimized/ameliorated in order to protect online users, and to identify gaps that exist with regard to unethical practices and online business. The findings of this research paper indicate that there exists various types of unethical practices in online business which include; online insecurity, mistrust, unreliability of delivery of products and services and deception. The causes of unethical practices in online business are greed, poor compliance with the legal requirements for doing business, aggressive competition and insufficient legislative. The DSMM users tend to be affected by these unethical practices in a number of ways that include; loss of customer loyalty, unsatisfied customers and loss of business reputation. Finally, this research found that the unethical practices could be ameliorated by raising awareness about the ideals of ethical behavior in various forums and providing appropriate punishment for unethical behaviors, being truthful, honest, and prompt in all disclosures and external reporting. Based on these findings, this research work concludes that many online businesses, similar to other businesses have a weak ethical culture, and little progress has been achieved to reduce misconduct. Also, the study concluded that the consumer protection laws such as Consumer Protection Act in Kenya have far-reaching impact on (online) businesses; that businesses have significant roles to play in consumer protection and in the ethical transformation of business sector and that law do play significant roles in putting pressure on businesses to act in ethically responsible manner.