Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 567–581 | Cite as

In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making

  • Mary CrossanEmail author
  • Daina Mazutis
  • Gerard Seijts


We present a comprehensive model that integrates virtues, values, character strengths and ethical decision making (EDM). We describe how a largely consequentialist ethical framework has dominated most EDM scholarship to date. We suggest that reintroducing a virtue ethical perspective to existing EDM theories can help to illustrate deficiencies in existing decision-making models, and suggest that character strengths and motivational values can serve as natural bridges that link a virtue framework to EDM in organizations. In conjunction with the more fully formulated extant research on situational determinants, we present and discuss our model that introduces a virtue based orientation to EDM.


Character strengths Ethical decision making Virtues Values 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Trudeau Foundation and the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Richard Ivey School of Business, the insightful contributions of the practitioners in the “Leadership on Trial” study, as well as the insights provided by Jeffrey Gandz, Corey Mulvihill, Dusya Vera, editor Joan Fontrodona and the anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Richard Ivey School of BusinessWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.IMDLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership, Richard Ivey School of BusinessWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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