Compliance and Values Oriented Ethics Programs: Influences on Employees’ Attitudes and Behavior

Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (2):315-335 (1999)

Abstract

Previous research has identified multiple approaches to the design and implementation of corporate ethics programs (Paine, 1994;Weaver, Treviño, and Cochran, in press b; Treviño, Weaver, Gibson, and Toffler, in press). This field survey in a large financial servicescompany investigated the relationships of the values and compliance orientations in an ethics program to a diverse set of outcomes.Employees’ perceptions that the company ethics program is oriented toward affirming ethical values were associated with seven outcomes. Perceptions of a compliance orientation were associated with four of these outcomes. The interaction of values and compliance orientations was associated with employees’ willingness to report misconduct. In general, a values orientation makes a greater unique contribution to the measured outcomes when compared to a compliance orientation

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