How do managers make teleological evaluations in ethical dilemmas? Testing part of and extending the hunt-Vitell model

Journal of Business Ethics 26 (3):259 - 269 (2000)
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Abstract

A study involving purchasing managers was conducted to test specific Hunt-Vitell theoretical propositions concerning the determinants of managers' teleological evaluations. We extended the Hunt-Vitell model by developing a new integrative construct, namely the desirability of consequences to self versus others. We hypothesized that desirability of consequences affects teleological evaluations in that the more desirable the consequences of a particular action, the more likely managers evaluate that action positively. The results of the present study provided support for this hypothesis. Furthermore, we extended the Hunt-Vitell model by developing a new integrative construct, namely the desirability of consequences of self versus others. We hypothesized that cognitive moral development moderates the relationship between the desirability of consequences of self versus others and teleological evaluation. The results failed to support this hypothesis. We explained the lack of support in terms of the level of aggregation of the data, the possibility of the confounding effect of respondents' sensitivity to ethical issues, and the possibility that deontological evaluations confounded the respondents' teleological judgments. Future research and managerial implications of the findings were also discussed.

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