Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 11, Issue 10, pp 761–769 | Cite as

Predicting ethical values and training needs in ethics

  • Victor J. Callan


Two hundred and twenty-six state employees completed a structured questionnaire that investigated their ethical values and training needs. Top management were more likely to have attitudes against cronyism and giving advantage to others. Individuals higher in the organizational hierarchy, and female employees were more likely to believe that discriminatory practices were an ethical concern. In addition, employees with a larger number of clients outside of the organization were more supportive of the need to maintain strict confidentiality in business dealings. Employees' awareness and use of the organization's code of conduct generally proved to be poor predictors of ethical values. Other analyses revealed that a variety of sociodemographic factors, job characteristics and ethical values predicted specific areas of training needs in ethics.


Economic Growth State Employee Specific Area Structure Questionnaire Ethical Concern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brehm, J. N.: 1966,A Theory of Psychological Reactance (New York, Academic Press).Google Scholar
  2. Callan, V. J., C. Gallois, P. Noller and Y. Kashima: 1991,Social Psychology (London, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).Google Scholar
  3. Carroll, A. B.: 1978, ‘Linking Business Ethics to Behavior in Organizations’,SAM Advanced Management Journal 43, 4–11.Google Scholar
  4. Center for Business Ethics: 1986, ‘Are Corporations Institutionalizing Ethics?’,Journal of Business Ethics 5 85–91.Google Scholar
  5. Clements, P. L.: 1988, ‘Ethics and Business Conduct Training’,Performance and Instruction 27, 6–10.Google Scholar
  6. Forker, L. B.: 1990, ‘Purchasing Professionals in State Government: How Ethical Are They?’,Journal of Business Ethics 9, 903–911.Google Scholar
  7. Fazio, R. H.: 1986, ‘How Do Attitudes Guide Behavior?’, in R. M. Sorrentino and E. T. Higgins (eds.).Handbook of Motivation and Cognition (Guilford Press, New York), pp. 204–43.Google Scholar
  8. Gellerman, S. W.: 1989, ‘Managing Ethics from the Top Down’,Sloan Management Review 2, 73–79.Google Scholar
  9. Harris, J. R.: 1990, ‘Ethical Values of Individuals at Different Levels in the Organizational Hierarchy of a Single Firm’,Journal of Business Ethics 9, 741–750.Google Scholar
  10. Hodgkinson, C.: 1971, ‘Organizational Influence on Value Systems’,Educational Administration Quarterly 7, 46–55.Google Scholar
  11. Kidwell, J. M., R. E. Stevens and A. L. Bethke: 1987, ‘Differences in Ethical Perceptions between Male and Female Managers’,Journal of Business Ethics 6, 489–493.Google Scholar
  12. McClelland, D. C.: 1985,Human Motivation (Glenview IL, Scott Foresman).Google Scholar
  13. McLagan, P.: 1989,Models for HRD Practice (Alexandria, VA, American Society for Training and Development).Google Scholar
  14. Nielsen, R. P.: 1988, ‘Limitations of Ethical Reasoning as Action (Praxis) Strategy’,Journal of Business Ethics 7, 725–733.Google Scholar
  15. Posner, B. Z. and W. H. Schmidt: 1984, ‘Values of the American Manager: An Update’,California Management Review 16, 202–216.Google Scholar
  16. Rice, D. and C. Dreilinger: 1990, ‘Rights and Wrongs of Ethics Training’,Training and Development Journal May, 103–106.Google Scholar
  17. Scase, R. and R. Goffee: 1990, ‘Women in Management: Towards a Research Agenda’,International Journal of Human Resource Management 1, 107–25.Google Scholar
  18. Vitell, S. J. and T. A. Festervand: 1987, ‘Business Ethics: Conflicts, Practices and Beliefs of Industrial Executives’,Journal of Business Ethics 6, 111–122.Google Scholar
  19. Watson, C.: 1988, ‘When a Woman is the Boss: Dilemmas in Taking Charge’,Group and Organizational Studies 13, 163–181.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor J. Callan
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of ManagementUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations