Family firm leaders acting as stewards of a close-knit enterprise may attempt to build a positive atmosphere of trust, clarity, and cohesiveness in the firm’s operation. Yet, conditions unique to family firms may lead some family members to develop a heightened sense of entitlement and weaker bonds to the organization. This creates conditions for a Fredo effect, where a family member’s incompetence, opportunistic behaviors, and/or ethically dubious actions can impede the firm’s success, potentially resulting in a scandal that could lead (...) to the firm’s demise and negative economic impact on employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Surveying 147 family-firm members, we examine the role that linkages among perceptions of family harmony norms, distributive fairness, role ambiguity, and relationship conflict play in the emergence of a family member who acts as an impediment to the firm, which can be manifested in damaging unethical behaviors. As hypothesized, family harmony norms and fairness perceptions are negatively related to family impediment, while role ambiguity is positively related to family impediment. However, relationship conflict mediates these connections, underscoring the potential damage this type of conflict can create in a family firm, even if leaders of the firm attempt to establish conditions that reflect a stewardship approach to firm governance. We discuss how these findings impact the development of an ethical climate in the family firm and the implications for family business survival or scandal. (shrink)
This study explores the ability of career satisfaction to mediate the relationship between corporate ethical values and altruism. Using a sample of individuals employed in a four-campus, regional health science center, it was determined that individual career satisfaction fully mediated the positive relationship between perceptions of corporate ethical values and self-reported altruism. The findings imply that companies dedicating attention to positive corporate ethical values can enhance employee attitudes and altruistic behaviors, especially when individuals experience a high degree of career satisfaction.
Considering the organization’s ethical context as a framework to investigate workplace phenomena, this field study of military reserve personnel examines the relationships among perceptions of psychosocial group variables, such as cohesiveness, helping behavior and peer leadership, employee job attitudes, and the likelihood of individuals’ withholding on-the-job effort, a form of organizational misbehavior. Hypotheses were tested with a sample of 290 individuals using structural equation modeling, and support for negative relationships between perceptions of positive group context and withholding effort by individual (...) employees was found. In addition, individual effort-performance expectancy and individual job satisfaction were negatively related to withholding effort. The findings provide evidence that individual perceptions of positive group context play a key role in the presence of misbehavior at work. The results indicate that positive group context might be an important element of ethical climate that should be managed to temper occurrence of such adverse work behavior. (shrink)
Faculty across a wide range of academic disciplines at 89 AASCB-accredited U.S. business schools were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the ethical nature of faculty behaviors related to undergraduate course content, student evaluation, educational environment, research issues, financial and material transactions, and social and sexual relationships. We analyzed responses based on whether instruction in the academic discipline focused mainly on quantitative topics or largely on qualitative issues. Faculty who represented quantitative disciplines such as accounting and finance (n = 383) were (...) more likely to view behaviors such as selling complimentary textbooks and grading on a strict curve as more ethical than faculty representing more qualitative disciplines such as management and marketing (n = 447). In contrast, faculty in quantitative disciplines were more likely to view behaviors such as showing controversial media and bringing up sexual or racial charged matters as less ethical than their counterparts. Whereas these differences may be attributed to the respondents’ academic backgrounds, the large level of agreement on ethical behaviors raises questions about the growing influence of business disciplines that operate within more unified research and teaching paradigms. (shrink)
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of the most (...) coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases - their similarities and differences - and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
Lying and dysfunctional impression management have been identified as two serious forms of deviant behavior in organizations. One manifestation of such behavior is distortion of one's résumé. In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her résumé and her biographical record. Twenty years later, football coach George O'Leary resigned from one of the (...) most coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier. This paper summarizes the two cases — their similarities and differences — and places them in the context of organizational deviance. The case studies provide discussion points, practical advice and instructional material for students in business ethics and management classes. Lessons include the importance of preparing accurate, unvarnished résumés and the morally bankrupt nature of allegedly minor distortions that can later cause huge trouble for the individuals and the institutions involved. (shrink)
A survey of 830 faculty members at 89 AASCB-accredited business schools throughout the United States was conducted in Fall 2002 to develop a snapshot of perceptions of ethical and unethical conduct with regard to undergraduate business instruction across a wide range of business disciplines. These behaviors fell into such categories as course content, evaluation of students, educational environment, disrespectful behavior, research and publication issues, financial and material transactions, social relationships with students, and sexual relationships with students and other faculty. Of (...) the 55 behaviors, two were almost universally perceived to be unethical. Eight behaviors were controversial in that there was wide variance on whether the behavior was perceived to be unethical. In addition, females' ethical perceptions differed significantly from males on three behaviors; older participants differed from younger participants on seven behaviors; participants at research-oriented institutions differed from participants at teaching-oriented institutions on one behavior; and tenured, untenured tenure-track, and untenured non-tenure-track participants differed on three behaviors. The findings of this study and the detailed comments of the respondents provide a starting point for discussing more systematic means to consider ethical issues within collegiate schools of business. (shrink)
Two major management philosophies of the 20th Century, scientific management and quality management, are often contrasted. Scientific management is seen as a system that focuses on task efficiencies whereas quality management is described as a collaborative, people-centered process approach to continuous improvement. This paper examines the ethical implications of these diverse approaches, particularly in the way information is used to decide which employees to lay off in times of economic difficulty. The paper uses case examples of quality management as teaching (...) tools to place the conduct of managers within utilitarian, deontological and justice approaches to ethical decision making. Finally, it suggests that a third system, open-book management, may help deal with this ethical dilemma, though not without risk. (shrink)