The hypothesized relationship between accountability and ethical behavior

Journal of Business Ethics 34 (1):57 - 73 (2001)
Abstract
Unethical behavior is important to study because it may have an adverse influence on organizational performance. This paper is an attempt to better understand why individuals behave as they do when faced with ethical dilemmas. We first explore the definition, theories and models of ethical behaviors and accountability. This discussion of societal ethics and accountability as forms of social control segues into a discussion of how accountability may influence ethical behaviors. Based on the business ethics and accountability literatures, we suggest a number of research questions and hypotheses that need to be tested, as well as an appropriate research strategy.
Keywords accountability  business ethics  decision-making  ethical behavior
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