Article Review - School Principals Unethical Marketing Practices in Taiwan

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1.0 Introduction

The title of our article review is “School Principals Unethical Marketing Practices in Taiwan” which is written by Hsuan-Fu Ho in year 2013. We get this article from the Utar library OPAC. This article is important for us to understand the unethical marketing practices in Taiwan.

Unethical defines as doing something which is morally wrong or not correct or not under the approved standards of social. By this, it is unethical business practice. Nowadays, the Taiwan government is focusing on marketization of education and coupled with a lack of number of students. As a result, Taiwan educational market will become more competitive. In recent years, unethical marketing practices are popular used by the school principals in Taiwan. Researched by Huang and Ho (2012) support that individual schools are expected to take responsibility for the result of their marketing efforts, and poor result will affect the school being closed or merged with other schools (as cited in Ho, 2013, p454). Besides that, according to Lai, 2011; Republic of China, 2012, birth rate in Taiwan has decrease in a large number and now become the lowest in the world (as cited in Ho, 2013, p454). It shows that the low birth rate in Taiwan and poor result of school being closed have stressed the school principals to implement unethical marketing practice. There are number of way that school principal used: 1) bribery 2) deception 3) Invasion 4) coercion. Typically, all of this is the unethical marketing practices used by school principal to survival in the competitive market. Therefore, school principals are willing to contravene established ethical norms, adopt in the unethical marketing practices and broke their previously good reputation in Taiwan education.

2.0 Summary

As the school-age population has rapidly decreased due to the birth rate in Taiwan has fallen dramatically in recent years, school principals have found it harder to have sufficient numbers of students to ensure the school survival in education field. School principals have used several unethical marketing practices to avoid closure of their school.

After the researcher has done the research, we can make a summary on the common unethical marketing practices that are practiced by school principals in Taiwan nowadays. He has categorized unethical marketing practices into four broad dimensions which are bribery, deception, invasion of privacy and coercion. Among these four dimensions, bribery was considered to be the most serious unethical marketing practice.

Besides that the four dimensions of unethical marketing practices, Ho also listed out twelve unethical marketing practices that are regularly employed to recruit student. The AHP results showed that of the 12 unethical marketing practices, the participants perceived the five most serious to be using political power to coerce feeder schools to recruit students, bribing teachers at feeder schools to recruit students, slandering one’s competitors, publicizing exaggerated claims about one’s school, and bribing students to engage in recruitment at their old schools. Only one of these practices was also among the five most commonly used which is bribing teachers at feeder schools to recruit students. During recruiting season, principals and other administrators use all sorts of pretexts for giving gifts or money to teachers at feeder schools. Due to this method of recruiting students is highly effective, principals make much use of it and rationalizing their behavior by downplaying or ignoring its unethical nature.

In the conclusion, Taiwanese government should establishes a detail and clear set of guidelines to accompany its policy of marketizing education to enable school to compete on a level playing field and also help to reduce the likelihood that principals will adopt unethical marketing practices.

3.0 Critique

In recent years, the Taiwan government achieves promotion of the marketization of education, coupled with a decreasing number of school-age children, and has given rise to a highly competitive educational market.

As a result, school principals (at all levels) feel compelled to resort unethical marketing practices to ensure the survival of their schools. The main purpose in this study was to identify the unethical marketing practices commonly used by school principals in Taiwan, and then determines their prevalence, the degree to which they contravene established ethical norms, and the circumstances in which school principals are likely to employ them. The results show that whereas bribery is regarded as the most unethical marketing strategy invasion of privacy was seen as much less serious.

Next, the questionnaire process to collect the data not very suitable in this situation survey. That is because the questions in the questionnaire will difficult to design. It also wastes a lot of time to design the questions. Besides that, when design the questions, we must more be careful when design the questions because the questions must ensure do not have any sensitive questions like political issue. Some time, questionnaire cannot direct know about the detail of questions or misunderstand the questions. When the respondent lack of understand to the questions, they just fill it up with their illusion. This will bring the inaccurate answer to the administrator. The questionnaire will not collect complete from outside because someone will not pass up the form of questionnaire. Someone will feel that are vexed when answering the questions.

The researcher has chosen the right methods to collect and manage the information or data from the large portion of group. For example, self –administered questionnaires and Microsoft excel. The advantages self-administered questionnaires are easily distributed to a large portion of group and allow anonymity (Mitchell & Jolley, 2013). Microsoft Excel can collect the information from various file and document in a single location (Microsoft, 2014). It shows that both of the methods are efficient and effective. Therefore, the result of the survey may be quantified rapidly and easily.

The teachers bribe by schools aim to help the school recruit students. In our concept, the teachers just only receive the allowance when they are success to recruit new students to apply for study in the schools. Besides that, we feel bribe replace the meaning for receive commission. On the other hand, the school can “give” more money or other benefits to the teachers who are achieve the objective that is recruit more students to apply study in the school. This is the way can stimulate the teachers more work hard to recruit more students for study in the school.

Bribing students to force them change their school from old school to the “black” school that is using the unethical marketing skills school are unfair to the competitors. That is because will cause other school’s students quantity will fall down rapidly in unreasonable. Abuse one’s authority to public and spread the top students name and identity that is disregard to the students. Next, making the false promise to students that is provide the scholarship differ with reality promise. This will make the students and their parents’ lack of the confident to the schools.

Next, according to the article mention that the coercion is not so important. Base on the Eastern culture, a value that remains important despite the growing influence of such western concepts as personal autonomy and human right. In our opinion, the coercion should be seen as serious. The definition of coercion is to force, to act or to think in certain way by using pressure, threat or intimidation. How can you force people to do something which they do not want to? For example, a mother forces her children to play or learn piano yet but the children like to play guitar. So, the mother force them to play piano by threat them or give them pressure. This will cause a lot of stress to the children. That is why we have a lot of kids who committed suicide. Furthermore, for working adult, the senior manager or directors order you to complete a huge project which involves millions of capital in shorted time like half week or less. In this situation, either you have an excellent work for you project or you cause your company loss the project. This kind of pressure is extremely heavy, when the guy failed to do that, their boss will fire them which them unemployed. Facing this kind of pressure, they will also committed suicide.

The students were forced by school when they enroll for school by collect their diplomas from feeder schools. We agree with this point. Nowadays, students have faced some problems in choosing which school they should enroll. By using this method, students enable to enroll into a larger uppers level school by referring to their results. Some of the students waste one or two years just by choosing the school. This will waste a lot of time. Feeder school have all the records of students, they know which upper level school suits them. By using these methods, students are able to study in a school which suits them and bring advantages to them.

4.0 Conclusion & Recommendation

After reviewing the article, we know that bribery is the most serious unethical marketing practice that is practiced by school principals in Taiwan. The reasons of the Taiwan school principals practiced the unethical marketing practice is because of school principals have found it harder to have sufficient numbers of students to ensure the school survival in education field due to the birth rate in Taiwan has fallen dramatically in recent years caused the school-age population has rapidly decreased.

In our opinion, the government of Taiwan should promote the education by using an ethical ways such as advertising the school education which have proved by the quality party .These ways will be more effective in terms of parents send their children to the school. Therefore, these ways will give effects to the schools principles that are using the unethical marketing will lose their position in Taiwan.

The author using the mind map to define and summary the unethical marketing practices commonly used by schools. Besides that, we prefer to use the AHP analysis the unethical marketing practices. This process will giving the assist or opinions from professional depart and can accurate to calculate the relative weight of subjective and relative factors being studies.

Lastly, we feel that the standard school may not use the unethical marketing strategies to cheat and deceive the people who really to get education in their life. We also noticed that the money value is not profitable than the moral value. The school which is using the unethical marketing practices need to introspection about the trick. They must think about it for their next generations, their children live in the fake reflect from their unethical marketing practices.