Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 611–622 | Cite as

The Effects of Person–Organization Ethical Fit on Employee Attraction and Retention: Towards a Testable Explanatory Model

  • David A. Coldwell
  • Jon Billsberry
  • Nathalie van Meurs
  • Philip J. G. Marsh


An exploratory model is presented as a heuristic to indicate how individual perceptions of corporate reputation (before joining) and corporate ethical values (after joining) generate specific individual organizational senses of fit. The paper suggests that an ethical dimension of person-organization fit may go some way in explaining superior acquisition and retention of staff by those who are attracted to specific organizations by levels of corporate social performance consonant with their ethical expectations, or who remain with them by virtue of better personal ethical fits with extant organizational ethical values. Specifically, the model suggests that individual misfits that arise from ethical expectations that either exceed or fall short of perceived organizational ethical performances lead to problematic acquisition and retention behavioural outcomes.


ethics person-organization fit attraction retention corporate social responsibility corporate social performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Coldwell
    • 2
  • Jon Billsberry
    • 1
  • Nathalie van Meurs
    • 1
  • Philip J. G. Marsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Open University Business SchoolThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Management StudiesUniversity of Kwazulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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