Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Lucie Ferrell R.N., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Lapakko Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Carol Tauer Ph.D.


There is no doubt that in today's business environment, organizations face stiff competition. Survival of the organization turns toward measurement of success by means of quantitative as compared to qualitative approaches. In other words, the raw sales numbers are often used as a measurement of success, not necessarily the quality of the sales transaction. The integral link between the organization's product and service to the customer resides with the sales associate. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of what influences personal ethics and attitudes regarding sales practices from the perspective or experience of the sales associate. Using the qualitative research approach insight into this area of study was gained through the perception of the individuals working in the sales environment. A total of five participants were interviewed from car dealerships in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. This type of organization was selected because it sells its product directly to the customer. To gain this understanding the researcher studied what moral integrity meant to the participants, their perspective on ethical sales practices, how sales goals impact sales practices, and what they considered to be the characteristics of a leader. A glimpse into organizational provided training was also obtained. The researcher recognizes that the number of participants is low. However, the insights that were provided are perspectives that should be taken into consideration but are not intended to be generalized to all sales associates. By creating this awareness, it is the researcher's aim that this insight will broaden the role and responsibility of the ethical leader.


SC 11.MAL.1999.McWillia.KM