Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 114, Issue 2, pp 265–282 | Cite as

Ethical Organisational Culture as a Context for Managers’ Personal Work Goals

  • Mari HuhtalaEmail author
  • Taru Feldt
  • Katriina Hyvönen
  • Saija Mauno
Article

Abstract

The aims of this study were to investigate what kinds of personal work goals managers have and whether ethical organisational culture is related to these goals. The sample consisted of 811 Finnish managers from different organisations, in middle and upper management levels, aged 25–68 years. Eight work-related goal content categories were found based on the managers self-reported goals: (1) organisational goals (35.4 %), (2) competence goals (26.1 %), (3) well-being goals (12.1 %), (4) career-ending goals (7.3 %), (5) progression goals (6.8 %), (6) prestige/influence goals (4.2 %), (7) job change goals (4.2 %) and (8) employment contract goals (3.9 %). Ethical organisational culture operated as a context for personal goal setting: Those managers who evaluated their organisational culture as more ethical were more likely to report organisational goals (e.g. goals toward the success or performance of the organisation). However, if managers gave lower ratings regarding ethical culture, then they named job change and career-ending goals in more cases. Therefore, investing into ethical virtues of the organisational culture can promote managers’ personal work goals, which also benefit the organisation.

Keywords

Corporate ethical virtues Ethical culture Personal work goals Managers 

References

  1. Ahtiainen, L. (2006). Palkansaajien järjestäytyminen Suomessa 2004. Työpoliittinen tutkimus, No. 298. Helsinki: Finnish Ministry of Labour.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1993). Organizational commitment—evidence of career stage effects. Journal of Business Research, 26(1), 49–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ambrose, M., Arnaud, A., & Schminke, M. (2008). Individual moral development and ethical climate: The influence of person–organization fit on job attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics, 77(3), 323–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews, M. C., Baker, T., & Hunt, T. G. (2011). Values and person–organization fit. Does moral intensity strengthen outcomes? Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32(1), 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Austin, J. T., & Vancouver, J. B. (1996). Goal constructs in psychology: Structure, process, and content. Psychological Bulletin, 120(3), 338–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barsky, A. (2008). Understanding the ethical cost of organizational goal-setting: A review and theory development. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(1), 63–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Boatright, J. R. (2003). Ethics and the conduct of business (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, M. E., & Trevinõ, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(6), 595–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bu, N. L., & McKeen, C. A. (2001). Work goals among male and female business students in Canada and China: The effects of culture and gender. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(2), 166–183.Google Scholar
  11. Chatman, J. A. (1989). Improving interactional organisational research: A model of person–organisation fit. Academy of Management Review, 14(3), 333–349.Google Scholar
  12. Chatman, J. (1991). Matching people and organizations: Selection and socialization in public accounting firms. Administrative Science Quarterly, 36(3), 459–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coldwell, D. A., Billsberry, J., van Meurs, N., & Marsh, P. J. G. (2008). The effects of person–organization ethical fit on employee attraction and retention: Towards a testable explanatory model. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(4), 611–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  15. Douglas, P. C., Davidson, R. A., & Schwartz, B. N. (2001). The effect of organizational culture and ethical orientation on accountants’ ethical judgments. Journal of Business Ethics, 34(2), 101–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109(3), 573–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ethics Resource Center. (2010). The importance of ethical culture: Increasing trust and driving down risks. http://www.ethics.org/files/u5/CultureSup4.pdf.
  18. Feldt, T., Hyvönen, K., Mäkikangas, A., Kinnunen, U., & Kokko, K. (2009). Development trajectories of Finnish managers’ work ability over a 10-year follow-up period. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 35(1), 37–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Festinger, L. (1942). A theoretical interpretation of shifts in level of aspiration. Psychological Review, 49(3), 235–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Freund, A. M. (2007). Differentiating and integrating levels of goal representation: A life-span perspective. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Philips (Eds.), Personal project pursuit (pp. 247–270). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Grant, M. G., Little, B. R., & Philips, S. D. (2007). Personal projects and organizational lives. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Philips (Eds.), Personal project pursuit (pp. 221–246). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  22. Hanisch, K. A., & Hulin, C. L. (1990). Job attitudes and organizational withdrawal: An examination of retirement and other voluntary withdrawal behaviors. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 37(1), 60–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Harpaz, I. (1990). The importance of work goals—an international perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 21(1), 75–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huhtala, M., Feldt, T., Lämsä, A., Mauno, S., & Kinnunen, U. (2011). Does the ethical culture of organisations promote managers’ occupational well-being? Investigating indirect links via ethical strain. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(2), 231–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Huhtala, M., Kangas, M., Lämsä, A.-M., & Feldt, T. (in press). Ethical managers in ethical organisations? The leadership–culture connection among Finnish managers. Leadership and Organizational Development.Google Scholar
  26. Hyvönen, K. (2011). Personal work goals put into context: Associations with work environment and occupational well-being. Published doctoral dissertation, Jyväskylä studies in education, psychology and social research. https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/handle/123456789/26645.
  27. Hyvönen, K., Feldt, T., Kinnunen, U., & Tolvanen, A. (2011). Changes in personal work goals in relation to the psychosocial work environment: A two-year follow-up study. Work & Stress, 25(4), 289–308.Google Scholar
  28. Hyvönen, K., Feldt, T., Salmela-Aro, K., Kinnunen, U., & Mäkikangas, A. (2009). Young managers’ drive to thrive: A personal work goal approach to burnout and work engagement. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 75(2), 183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hyvönen, K., Feldt, T., Tolvanen, A., & Kinnunen, U. (2010). The role of goal pursuit in the interaction between psychosocial work environment and occupational well-being. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 76(3), 406–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kaptein, M. (2008). Developing and testing a measure for the ethical culture of organizations: The corporate ethical virtues model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(7), 923–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kaptein, M. (2009). Ethics programs and ethical culture: A next step in unraveling their multi-faceted relationship. Journal of Business Ethics, 89(2), 261–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kaptein, M. (2010). The ethics of organizations: A longitudinal study of the US working population. Journal of Business Ethics, 92(4), 601–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kaptein, M. (2011). From inaction to external whistleblowing: The influence of the ethical culture of organizations on employee responses to observed wrongdoing. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(3), 513–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kaptein, M., & Van Dalen, J. (2000). The empirical assessment of corporate ethics: A case study. Journal of Business Ethics, 24(2), 95–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Koh, H. C., & Boo, E. H. Y. (2001). The link between organizational ethics and job satisfaction: A study of managers in Singapore. Journal of Business Ethics, 29(4), 309–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Landis, J. R., & Koch, G. G. (1977). Measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Little, B. R. (2000). Free traits and personal contexts: Expanding a social ecological model of well-being. In W. B. Walsh, K. H. Craik, & R. H. Price (Eds.), Person–environment psychology: New directions and perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 87–116). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  38. Little, B. R. (2007). Prompt and circumstance: The generative contexts of personal projects analysis. In B. R. Little, K. Salmela-Aro, & S. D. Philips (Eds.), Personal project pursuit (pp. 3–49). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  39. Maier, G. W., & Brunstein, J. C. (2001). The role of personal work goals in newcomers’ job satisfaction and organizational commitment: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(5), 1034–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mayer, R. C., & Schoorman, F. D. (1998). Differentiating antecedents of organizational commitment: A test of March and Simon’s model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 19(1), 15–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Meyer, J. P., & Allen, N. J. (1997). Commitment in the workplace: Theory, research, and application. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2007). Mplus user’s guide (5 ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén and Muthén.Google Scholar
  43. Nash, L. L. (1993). Good intentions aside. A manager’s guide to resolving ethical problems. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  44. National Business Ethics Survey. (2003). How employees view ethics in their organizations. Washington, DC: Ethics Resource Centre.Google Scholar
  45. Nurmi, J. E. (1992). Age-differences in adult life goals, concerns, and their temporal extension—a life course approach to future-oriented motivation. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 15(4), 487–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. O’Donohue, W., & Nelson, L. (2009). The role of ethical values in an expanded psychological contract. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(2), 251–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. O’Reilly, C. A, I. I. I., Chatman, J., & Caldwell, D. F. (1991). People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person–organization fit. The Academy of Management Journal, 34(3), 487–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Paulhus, D. L. (1991). Balanced inventory of desirable responding (BIDR). In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and psychological attitudes (Vol. 1, pp. 37–41). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  49. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J.-Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pomaki, G., Maes, S., & ter Doest, L. (2004). Work conditions and employees’ self-set goals: Goal processes enhance prediction of psychological distress and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(6), 685–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Posner, B. Z., Kouzes, J. M., & Schmidt, W. H. (1985). Shared values make a difference: An empirical test of corporate culture. Human Resource Management, 24(3), 293–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Proper, K. I., Deeg, D. J. H., & van der Beek, A. J. (2009). Challenges at work and financial rewards to stimulate longer workforce participation. Human Resources for Health, 7(1), 70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rousseau, D. M. (1989). Psychological and implied contracts in organizations. Employee Rights and Responsibilities Journal, 2(2), 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Salmela-Aro, K. (2002). Motivaation mittaaminen. In K. Salmela-Aro & J. Nurmi (Eds.), Mikä Meitä Liikuttaa (pp. 28–39). Keuruu: PS-kustannus).Google Scholar
  55. Salmela-Aro, K., Pennanen, R., & Nurmi, J. (2001). Self-focused goals: What they are, how they function, and how they relate to well-being. In P. Schmuck & K. Sheldon (Eds.), Life goals and well-being: Towards a positive psychology of human striving (pp. 148–166). London: Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  56. Savickas, M. L. (1997). Career adaptability: An integrative construct for life-span, life-space theory. Career Development Quarterly, 45(3), 247–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Schein, E. H. (1980). Organizational psychology (3rd edn.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  58. Schwepker, C. H. (1999). The relationship between ethical conflict, organizational commitment and turnover intentions in the salesforce. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 19(1), 43–49.Google Scholar
  59. Schwepker, C. H. (2001). Ethical climate’s relationship to job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intention in the salesforce. Journal of Business Research, 54(1), 39–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schwepker, C. H. (2003). An exploratory investigation of the relationship between ethical conflict and salesperson performance. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 18(4/5), 435–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Siegrist, J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1(1), 27–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Siegrist, J., Siegrist, K., & Weber, I. (1986). Sociological concepts in the etiology of chronic disease: The case of ischemic heart disease. Social Science and Medicine, 22(2), 247–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Siegrist, J., Starke, D., Chandola, T., Godin, I., Marmot, M., Niedhammer, I., et al. (2004). The measurement of effort–reward imbalance at work: European comparisons. Social Science and Medicine, 58(8), 1483–1499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sims, R. (1991). The institutionalization of organizational ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 10(7), 493–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sims, R. R., & Brinkmann, J. (2003). Enron ethics: Culture matters more than codes. Journal of Business Ethics, 45(3), 243–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sims, R. L., & Keon, T. L. (2000). The influence of organizational expectations on ethical decision making conflict. Journal of Business Ethics, 23(2), 219–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. ter Doest, L., Maes, S., Gebhardt, W. A., & Koelewijn, H. (2006). Personal goal facilitation through work: Implications for employee satisfaction and well-being. Applied Psychology, 55(2), 192–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Treviño, L. K. (1986). Ethical decision-making in organizations—a person–situation interactionist model. Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601–617.Google Scholar
  69. Treviño, L. K. (1990). A cultural perspective on changing and developing organizational ethics. Research in Organizational Change and Development, 4, 195–230.Google Scholar
  70. Treviño, L. K., Butterfield, K. D., & McCabe, D. L. (1998). The ethical context in organizations: Influences on employee attitudes and behaviors. Business Ethics Quarterly, 8(3), 447–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Treviño, L. K., Weaver, G. R., Gibson, D. G., & Toffler, B. L. (1999). Managing ethics and legal compliance: What works and what hurts. California Management Review, 41, 131–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Treviño, L. K., Weaver, G. R., & Reynolds, S. J. (2006). Behavioral ethics in organizations: A review. Journal of Management, 32(6), 951–990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Valentine, S., Godkin, L., Fleischman, G. M., Kidwell, R. E., & Page, K. (2011). Corporate ethical values, group creativity, job satisfaction and turnover intention: The impact of work context on work response. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(3), 353–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Valentine, S., Godkin, L., & Lucero, M. (2002). Ethical context, organizational commitment, and person–organization fit. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(4), 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Viswesvaran, C., Deshpande, S. P., & Joseph, J. (1998). Job satisfaction as a function of top management support for ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 17(4), 365–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wiese, B. S., & Salmela-Aro, K. (2008). Goal conflict and facilitation as predictors of work–family satisfaction and engagement. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73(3), 490–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Huhtala
    • 1
    Email author
  • Taru Feldt
    • 1
  • Katriina Hyvönen
    • 1
  • Saija Mauno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations