, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 133-143

Institutionalization of Ethics: The Perspective of Managers

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Abstract

Corporate America is institutionalizing ethics through a variety of structures, systems, and processes. This study sought to identify managerial perceptions regarding the institutionalization of ethics in organizations. Eighty-six corporate level marketing and human resource managers of American multi-national corporations responded to a mail survey regarding the various implicit and explicit ways by which corporations institutionalize ethics. The results revealed that managers found ethics to be good for the bottom line of the organizations, they did not perceive the need for additional formalization of ethics, and that they perceived implicit forms of institutionalizing ethics (e.g., leadership, corporate culture, top management support) to be more effective than the explicit forms of institutionalizing ethics (e.g., ethics ombudspeople, ethics committees, ethics newsletters). Implications of the survey and future research directions conclude the paper.