Characteristics of Ethical Business Cultures


Center for Ethical Business Cultures

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Book Chapter


Research on business ethics, organizational culture, and organizational leadership suggests that ethical or unethical behavior in organizations is a function of both individual characteristics and contextual factors (Meyers, 2004). Among these contextual factors, organizational culture is considered to be one of the most important influences (Cohen, 1993; Meyers, 2004; Trevino, 1986). In recent years, a number of research studies have attempted to link various attributes of organizational cultures to ethical behavior (Frederick, 1995; Trevino and Nelson, 2004). However, to our knowledge, none of the published studies propose comprehensive models of characteristics of ethical corporate cultures. Therefore, the goal of the reported study was to identify characteristics attributed to ethical business cultures by business practitioners. In this paper, we first briefly summarize the results of our review of literature on ethical corporate cultures and formulate the research question. Second, the study design, methodology, and sample are explained. Next, we present and discuss the study findings, including the list of attributes of ethical corporate cultures. Finally, implications for further research and business management practices are discussed.

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Leading Organizations perspectives for a new era (2ed)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.