In Search of Virtue: The Role of Virtues, Values and Character Strengths in Ethical Decision Making
- 4.3k Downloads
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.
KeywordsCharacter 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.
- Aristotle. In H. Rackham (Ed.), Nicomachean ethics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Accessed from http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0054. Accessed 21 Oct 2012.
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Bennis, W. G., & O’Toole, J. (2005). How business schools lost their way. Harvard Business Review, 83(5), 96–104.Google Scholar
- Cameron, K. (2003). Organizational virtuousness and performance. In K. Cameron, J. Dutton, & R. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
- Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., & Quinn, R. E. (2003). Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
- Copleston, F. (1962). A history of philosophy, Vol. I: Greece and Rome. New York: Image Books, Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Crossan, M., Mazutis, D., Seijts, G., & Gandz, J. (2013). Developing leadership character in business programs. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 12(2).Google Scholar
- Dimow, J. (2004). Resisting authority: A personal account of the Milgram obedience experiments. Jewish Currents.Google Scholar
- Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. W. (1994). Toward a unified conception of business ethics: Integrative social contracts theory. Academy of Management Review, 19(2), 252–284.Google Scholar
- Dutton, J. E., Worline, M. C., Frost, P. J., & Lilius, J. (2006). Explaining compassion organizing. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51(1), 59–96.Google Scholar
- Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2009). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Mason, OH: South Western Educational Publishing.Google Scholar
- Gandz, J., Crossan, M., Seijts, G., & Stephenson, C. (2010). Leadership on trial: A manifesto for leadership development. London, ON: Ivey Publishing.Google Scholar
- Homiak, M. (2007). Moral character. In Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab. Accessed from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-character/. Accessed 17 July 2010.
- Hosmer, L. R. T. (2008). The ethics of management (6th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill/Irwin.Google Scholar
- Hursthouse, R. (2007). Virtue ethics. In Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab. Accessed from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/. Accessed 18 July 2010.
- Jones, T. M. (1991). Ethical decision making by individuals in organizations: An issue-contingent model. Academy of Management Review, 16(2), 366–395.Google Scholar
- MacIntyre, A. (1991). Three rival versions of moral enquiry: Encyclopaedia, genealogy, and tradition. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
- Marx, R. D. (1982). Relapse prevention for managerial training: A model for maintenance of behavior change. Academy of Management Review, 7(3), 433–441.Google Scholar
- Paine, L. S. (2003). Value shift: Why companies must merge social and financial imperatives to achieve superior performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rest, J. R. (1986). Moral development: Advances in research and theory. New York: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
- Rokeach, M. J. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, S. (1996). Value priorities and behavior: Applying a theory of integrated value systems. In C. Seligman, J. M. Olson, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), The Ontario symposium: Vol. 8. The psychology of values (pp. 1–24). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Smith, P. B., Peterson, M. F., & Thomas, D. C. (2008). The handbook of cross-cultural management research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Stephens, B., & Smith, D. (2009). Accounting ethics and educational interventions: A combination of both the discrete and pervasive method. Journal of the Academy of Business Education, 10 (proceedings).Google Scholar
- Treviño, L. K. (1986). Ethical decision making in organizations: A person–situation interactionist model. Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601–617.Google Scholar
- Vogel, D. (2005). The market for virtue: The potential and limits of corporate social responsibility. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Zimbardo, P. G. (2008). The Lucifer effect: Understanding how good people turn evil. New York: Random House Inc.Google Scholar