Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (4):559-582 (2015)

ABSTRACT:While tone at the top is widely regarded as an important predictor of ethical behavior in organizations, we argue that recent research overlooks the various conflicting ethical tones present in many multi-organizational work settings. Further, we propose that the resolution processes promulgated in many firms and professional associations to reconcile this conflict reinforce the tone at the bottom or a tone at the top of the employee’s organization, and that both of these approaches can conflict with the tone at the top of other important organizations such as professional and regulatory organizations. Here we adapt Integrative Social Contract Theory’s priority rules to propose a multi-tone reconciliation process which prioritizes conflicting ethical tones based upon features of the organization and the effects on society. Using three contextualizations, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the multi-tone reconciliation process over current processes. We conclude with recommendations for future research and implications for practice.
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DOI 10.1017/beq.2015.40
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References found in this work BETA

The Moral Dimension of Organizational Culture.James A. Waters & Frederick Bird - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (1):15 - 22.

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Citations of this work BETA

Three Models of Impactful Business Ethics Scholarship.Denis G. Arnold - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (4):ix-xii.
Donaldsonian Themes: A Commentary.Thomas Donaldson - 2017 - Business Ethics Quarterly 27 (1):125-142.
Reflections on the Past Five Years and Other Matters.Denis G. Arnold - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (4):v-viii.

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