Organizational ethical standards and organizational commitment

Journal of Business Ethics 20 (4):289 - 299 (1999)
Organizations interested in employee ethics compliance face the problem of conflict between employee and organizational ethical standards. Socializing new employees is one way of assuring compliance. Important for longer term employees as well as new ones, however, is making those standards visible and then operable in the daily life of an organization. This study, conducted in one large organization, found that, depending on organizational level, awareness of an organization's ethical standards is predicted by managerial adherence to and organizational compliance with those standards and/or discussions with peers. Regardless of level, organizational commitment was predicted most strongly by managerial adherence to organizational standards. These findings have theoretical implications for the fields of business ethics, organizational identity and organizational socialization and practical implications for the implementation of ethics policies.
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