Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 765–781 | Cite as

Organisational Virtue, Moral Attentiveness, and the Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility in Business: The Case of UK HR Practitioners

  • David Dawson


Examination of the application of virtue ethics to business has only recently started to grapple with the measurement of virtue frameworks in a practical context. This paper furthers this agenda by measuring the impact of virtue at the level of the organisation and examining the extent to which organisational virtue (OV) impacts on moral attentiveness (MA) and the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility in creating organisational effectiveness (PRESOR). It is argued that people who operate in more virtuous organisational contexts will be expected to be more attentive to ethical issues and in turn perceive a greater role for ethics and social responsibility in business. Analysis of results based on a sample of 137 HR professionals shows that where people report that their organisation provides meaningful work, they are more likely to display reflective MA and the belief that ethics and social responsibility are compatible with business objectives, suggesting that organisations who are interested in promoting an ethical culture should focus on their work structures and practices. More generally, OV is shown to have a more complex relationship with PRESOR than hypothesised pointing towards a more nuanced view of OV. The paper examines the implications of the results for organisations and research.


Virtue ethics Organisational virtue Moral attentiveness Meaningful work 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Business SchoolUniversity of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK

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