Ethical attitudes and behaviour are complex. This complexity extends to the influencers operating at different levels both outside and within the organisation, and in different combinations for different individuals. There is hence a growing need to understand the proximal and distal influencers of ethical attitudes, and how these operate in concert at the individual, organisational, and societal levels. Few studies have attempted to combine these main research streams and systematically examine their combined impact. The minority of studies that have taken a combined approach have often done so using conventional statistical and analytical techniques which imply linearity between variables—a situation that rarely exists in business settings and is likely to lead to simplistic or even erroneous conclusions. Applying a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis approach, this paper reports on the mutual and simultaneous influence of individual demographic factors (gender, education), as well as proximal and distal factors stemming from within and outside the work environment (e.g. treatment by one’s supervisor, country-level indicators of corruption perceptions) to understand individuals’ ethical views within the workplace (n = 525). The multiple configurations that emerged reveal the complex nature of influencers of ethical attitudes, and reinforce the view that “one size does not fit all”. We discuss these implications together with managerial recommendations and future research directions.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
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A. Celestine, N., Leighton, C. & Perryer, C. A Multifocal and Integrative View of the Influencers of Ethical Attitudes Using Qualitative Configurational Analysis. J Bus Ethics 162, 103–122 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-4011-2
- Fuzzy logic
- Qualitative comparative analysis