Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 175–194 | Cite as

Continuities and Extensions of Ethical Climate Theory: A Meta-Analytic Review

  • Kelly D. MartinEmail author
  • John B. Cullen


Using traditional meta-analytic techniques, we compile relevant research to enhance conceptual appreciation of ethical climate theory (ECT) as it has been studied in the descriptive and applied ethics literature. We explore the various treatments of ethical climate to understand how the theoretical framework has developed. Furthermore, we provide a comprehensive picture of how the theory has been extended by describing the individual-level work climate outcomes commonly studied in this theoretical context. Meta-analysis allows us to resolve inconsistencies in previous findings as well as confirm the central tenets of the overall ethical climate framework. In addition, we consider the ethical climate relationships in the larger context of the␣theoretical framework, using path analysis to test the structural relationships. Overall, our results provide evidence of the relationships between ethical climate perceptions and individual-level work outcomes. Based on our analyses, we offer future research directions important for further development of ECT.


ethical climate ethical decision-making meta-analysis organizational climate path analysis work climate 


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References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the meta-analysis

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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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