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Individual Moral Development and Ethical Climate: The Influence of Person–Organization Fit on Job Attitudes

Abstract

This research examines how the fit between employees moral development and the ethical work climate of their organization affects employee attitudes. Person–organization fit was assessed by matching individuals' level of cognitive moral development with the ethical climate of their organization. The influence of P–O fit on employee attitudes was assessed using a sample of 304 individuals from 73 organizations. In general, the findings support our predictions that fit between personal and organizational ethics is related to higher levels of commitment and job satisfaction and lower levels of turnover intent. Ethical P–O fit was related to higher levels of affective commitment across all three ethical climate types. Job satisfaction was only associated with ethical P–O fit for one of the three P–O fit variables and turnover intentions were significantly associated with two of the ethical P–O fit variables. The most consistent effect was found for the Conventional – Caring fit variable, which was significantly related to all three attitudes assessed. The weakest effect was found for the Preconventional – Instrumental fit variable, which was only predictive of affective commitment. The pattern of findings and implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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Correspondence to Anke Arnaud.

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Ambrose, M.L., Arnaud, A. & Schminke, M. Individual Moral Development and Ethical Climate: The Influence of Person–Organization Fit on Job Attitudes. J Bus Ethics 77, 323–333 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9352-1

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Keywords

  • attitudes
  • cognitive moral development
  • ethical climate
  • P–O fit
  • value congruence