Contextual Factors as Moderators of the Effect of Employee Ethical Ideology on Ethical Decision-making

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					2      International Journal of Management              Vol. 27 No. 1          April 2010


Contextual Factors as Moderators of the Effect of
Employee Ethical Ideology on Ethical Decision-making
Gerard A. Callanan
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Paul F. Rotenberry
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
David F. Perri
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Peter Oehlers
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Organizations have increased their usage of pre-employment screening instruments that
measure ethical ideology (i.e. which applicants hold an ethical ideology versus a non-
ethical ideology) as a means to predict ethical decision making on the job. Consistent
with previous research, this stu
				
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Description: Organizations have increased their usage of pre-employment screening instruments that measure ethical ideology as a means to predict ethical decision making on the job. Consistent with previous research, this study investigates whether an individual's ethical ideology, as measured by degree of relativism and degree of idealism, is actually linked with ethical decision making when individuals are presented with specific ethical choices. Uniquely adding to the existing literature, this study, utilizing real-life ethical scenarios, also assesses whether a given set of contextual factors, including the perceived opportunity to commit an unethical act, the degree of benefit to the individual if the unethical decision is made, and the perceived chance of getting caught, serve to moderate the relationship between ethical ideology and ethical decision making. Results show a linkage between ethical ideology and decision making and that contextual factors serve to influence the relationship.
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