Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 329–341 | Cite as

Ethical Managerial Behaviour as an Antecedent of Organizational Social Capital

  • David Pastoriza
  • Miguel A. Ariño
  • Joan E. Ricart


There is a need of further research to understand how social capital in the organization can be fostered. Existing literature focuses on the design of reciprocity norms, procedures and stability employment practices as the main levers of social capital in the workplace. Complementary to these mechanisms, this paper explores the impact of ethical managerial behaviour on the development of social capital. We argue that a managerial behaviour based on the true concern for the well-being of employees, as well as their motivational and ethical development, can be particularly important for the generation of social capital in the organization. It is suggested that manager’s behaviour should be based on three principles: following exemplary behaviour, helping the employees to value the consequences of their actions in other persons, and not betraying employee’s trust. When the manager conforms to those principles, he can ease the process through which employees develop associability and identification-based trust with the firm, the two main components of ‹Organizational Social Capital’. Bringing ethics into the debate of social capital creation seems to us fundamental, as social capital in the firm is likely to be influenced by the ethical and motivational development of its members.


organizational social capital managerial behaviour transcendent motives virtues 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Pastoriza
    • 1
  • Miguel A. Ariño
    • 1
  • Joan E. Ricart
    • 1
  1. 1.IESE Business SchoolUniversity of NavarraBarcelonaSpain

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