Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 128, Issue 4, pp 725–742 | Cite as

Level of Coherence Among Ethics Program Components and Its Impact on Ethical Intent

  • Pablo Ruiz
  • Ricardo Martinez
  • Job Rodrigo
  • Cristina Diaz


Three ethics program components, a code of ethics, ethics training initiatives and ethics-oriented performance appraisal content, were examined for their relationship to ethical intent using a sample of 525 employees from the Spanish financial services industry. As expected, all three components contributed to the prediction of ethical intent. Importantly, clusters of employees who reported experiencing distinct combinations of the program components were identified and compared for their level of ethical intent. Employees who perceived all three components to be strongly implemented reported significantly higher levels of ethical intent relative to those who viewed the components as either all weakly implemented or not present. Combinations including training initiatives plus one other element had a similar impact to the fully implemented approach. Contrary to expectations, ethics-oriented performance appraisal content did not relate more strongly to ethical intent than codes of ethics.


Ethics program Integrated approach Decoupling Ethical intent Coherence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Ruiz
    • 1
  • Ricardo Martinez
    • 1
  • Job Rodrigo
    • 1
  • Cristina Diaz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaCuencaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaAlbaceteSpain

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