Science and Engineering Ethics 25 (1):231-245 (2019)

We determined the prevailing ethical climate at three different schools of a single university, in order to explore possible differences in the ethical climate related to different research fields: the School of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Naval Architecture; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Medicine. We used the Ethical Climate Questionnaire to survey the staff at the three schools, and used the research integrity and organizational climate survey for early-stage researchers at the three schools. The dominant ethical climate type perceived collectively at the three university schools was Laws and professional codes, which is associated with the cosmopolitan level of analysis and the ethical construct of principle. Individually, the same climate predominated at the schools for engineering and humanities, but the School of Medicine had the Self-interest ethical climate, which is associated with the individual level of analysis and the egoism ethical construct. In the RIOC survey, early-stage researchers from the three university schools did not differ in their perceptions of the organizational research integrity climate, or in their perceived individual, group or organizational pressures. Our study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to show differences in perceived ethical climate at a medical school compared to other schools at a university. Further studies are needed to explore the reasons for these differences and how they translate to organizational outcomes, such as job satisfaction, commitment to the institution and dysfunctional behaviour, including research misconduct.
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-017-9987-y
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