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Ethics and compliance training of sales managers in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry showed little evidence that eLearning interventions developed to address employees' (a) awareness of unethical sales practices, (b) ability to judge a selling practice as unethical, and (c) intentions to speak up about unethical sales practices have had the desired effects. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of an entertainment-education video to an eLearning course, to improve ethical issue awareness, ethical judgment, and speaking-up behaviors in the pharmaceutical sales profession. Social cognitive theory and the extended elaboration likelihood model provided a theoretical framework for studying the effects of entertainment-education. The primary research question was, if entertainment-education programs can be used as an effective methodology to improve ethical decision-making and increase intentions to speak up, compared to a narrative-style eLearning course. In this quantitative study, 64 sales professionals from a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company were randomly assigned to either an entertainment-education video or an eLearning group to compare the effects of intervention format on ethical issue awareness, ethical judgment, and intentions to speak up, measured using two ethical scenarios and surveys. Although both treatments had a significant effect on behavioral intentions to speak up, there was only a moderate difference between the two groups t(62) = 2.20, p = .032 when participants observed a patient safety issue. Results from this study may impact social change by providing compliance managers with evidence to evaluate the use of entertainment-education strategies to increase sales representatives' intentions to speak-up when they observe behaviors that may put patient safety at risk.
Miller, Brian G., "Effects of Entertainment-Education Versus eLearning on Pharmaceutical Sales Ethical Decision-Making" (2018). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 5905.