The aim of my ph.d-project is to explore how and to what extent the professionalization of business occupations can contribute to disincentivizing unethical market activities.
I am interested in understanding the potential that professionalization strategies have for mitigating what I refer to as the problem of “unscrupulous competition”: instances in which ethical market conduct is punished or even suppressed by economic agents’ ability to exploit market failures.
The research will address the notion of personal investment of business professionals such as education, character development and their relation to ethical awareness, accountability as well as cultural and communal aspects of different professionalization strategies.
The study combines insights from the fields of marketing ethics, economics, and moral philosophy.
The investigation will be carried out through a comparative case study on the professionalization of real estate brokerage or “mediation” in selected contexts that represent various levels of professionalization.
Through the study, I aim to contribute valuable insights about the professionalization of commerce as a tool to improve ethical standards in the marketplace.
I consider it important to increase awareness about the challenges and limitation related to different regulative strategies, especially in situations where high levels of expert knowledge, autonomy and discretion are required.