Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 387–399 | Cite as

The Influence of Perceived Importance of an Ethical Issue on Moral Judgment, Moral Obligation, and Moral Intent

Article

Abstract

The study extends and tests the issue contingent four-component model of ethical decision-making to include moral obligation. A web-based questionnaire was used to gauge the influence of perceived importance of an ethical issue on moral judgment and moral intent. Perceived importance of an ethical issue was found to be a predictor of moral judgment but not of moral intent as predicted. Moral obligation is suggested to be a process that occurs after a moral judgment is made and explained a significant portion of the variance in moral intent.

Keywords

ethics ethical decision-making perceived importance of an ethical issue moral intensity moral obligation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

10551_2007_9502_MOESM1_ESM.doc (74 kb)
Supplementary material

References

  1. Audi, Robert (ed.): 1995, Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnett T. 2001 Dimensions of Moral Intensity and Ethical Decision Making: An Empirical Study. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 31, 1038–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barron F. 1953 An Ego-Strength Scale Which Predicts Response to Psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting Psychology 17, 327–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck L., Azjen I. 1991 Predicting Dishonest Actions Using the Theory of Planned Behavior. Journal of Research in Personality 25, 285–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bratton, V.: 2004, Affective Morality: The Role of Emotions in the Ethical Decision-Making Process. Published Dissertation at Florida State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  6. Chin W. W. 1998 Issues and Opinion on Structural Equation Modeling. MIS Quarterly 22, vii–xviGoogle Scholar
  7. Chin W. W., Newsted P. R. 1999 Structural Equation Modeling Analysis With Small Samples Using Partial Least Squares. In: R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Statistical Strategies for Small Sample Research. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage, pp. 307–341Google Scholar
  8. Collins D. 2000 The Quest to Improve the Human Condition: The First 1.500 Articles Published in the Journal of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 26, 1–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davis M. A., Johnson N. B., Ohmer D. G. 1998 Issue-Contingent Effects on Ethical Decision-Making: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. Journal of Business Ethics 17, 373–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Greenberg J., Eskew D. E. 1993 The Role of Role Playing in Organizational Research. Journal of Management 19, 221–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haines, R. and L. N. K. Leonard: 2007, ‹Situational Influences on Ethical Decision-Making in an IT Context’, Information and Management 44, 313–320Google Scholar
  12. Hawkins, D. I., R. J. Best and K. A. Coney: 2001, Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 8e. (New York: Irwin/McGraw-Hill)Google Scholar
  13. Jones T. M. 1991 Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations: An Issue-Contingent Model. Acad Manag Rev 16, 366–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leonard L. N. K., Cronan T. P., Kreie J. 2004 What are Influences of Ethical Behavior Intentions – Planned Behavior, Reasoned Action, Perceived Importance, or Individual Characteristics? Information & Management 42, 143–158Google Scholar
  15. Reidenbach R. E., Robin, D. P. 1990 Toward the Development of a Multidimensional Scale for Improving Evaluations of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 9, 639–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Reidenbach R. E., Robin D. P., Dawson L. 1991 An Application and Extension of a Multidimensional Ethics Scale to Selected Marketing Practices and Marketing Groups. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 19, 83–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rest J. R. 1979 Development in Judging Moral Issues. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota PressGoogle Scholar
  18. Rest J. R. 1986 Moral Development. New York: PragerGoogle Scholar
  19. Robin D. P., Reidenbach R. E., Forrest P. J. 1996 The Perceived Importance of an Ethical Issue as an Influence on the Ethical Decision-making of Ad Managers. Journal of Business Research 35, 17–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Singhapakdi A., Vitell S. J., Kraft K. L. 1996 Moral Intensity and Ethical Decision-Making of Marketing Professionals. Journal of Business Research 36, 245–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Street M. D., Douglas S. C., Geiger S. W., Martinko M. J. 2001 The Impact of Cognitive Expenditure on the Ethical Decision-Making Process: The Cognitive Elaboration Model. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 86, 256–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Street M. D., Street V. L. 2006 The Effects of Escalating Commitment on Ethical Decision-Making. Journal of Business Ethics 64, 343–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Valentine S., Silver L. 2001 Assessing the Dimensionality of the Singhapakdi, Vitell, and Kraft Measure of Moral Intensity. Psychological Reports 88, 291–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vitell, S. J. and S. D. Hunt: 1990, ‹The General Theory of Marketing Ethics: A Partial Test of the Model’, in J.␣N. Sheth (ed.), Research in Marketing, Vol. 10 (JAI␣Press, Greenwich, Conn.), pp. 237–265Google Scholar
  25. Zaichkowsky J. L. 1985 Measuring the Involvement Construct. Journal of Consumer Research 12, 341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Haines
    • 1
  • Marc D. Street
    • 2
  • Douglas Haines
    • 3
  1. 1.Information Technology and Decision SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkU.S.A.
  2. 2.Perdue School of BusinessSalisbury UniversitySalisburyU.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of Business, College of Business and EconomicsUniversity of IdahoMoscowU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations