Ethical managerial behaviour as an antecedent of organizational social capital

Journal of Business Ethics 78 (3):329 - 341 (2008)
Abstract
There is a need of further research to understand how social capital in the organization can be fostered. Existing literature focuses on the design of reciprocity norms, procedures and stability employment practices as the main levers of social capital in the workplace. Complementary to these mechanisms, this paper explores the impact of ethical managerial behaviour on the development of social capital. We argue that a managerial behaviour based on the true concern for the well-being of employees, as well as their motivational and ethical development, can be particularly important for the generation of social capital in the organization. It is suggested that manager's behaviour should be based on three principles: following examplary behaviour, helping the employees to value the consequences of their actions in other persons, and not betraying employee's trust. When the manager conforms to those principles, he can ease the process through which employees develop associability and identification-based trust with the firm, the two main components of 'Organizational Social Capital'. Bringing ethics into the debate of social capital creation seems to us fundamental, as social capital in the firm is likely to be influenced by the ethical and motivational development of its members
Keywords organizational social capital  managerial behaviour  transcendent motives  virtues
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