Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 125–140 | Cite as

Ethical Climates and the Ethical Dimension of Decision Making

  • David J. Fritzsche


Victor and Cullen (1987, 1988) developed a typology of ethical climates based upon the level of moral development of the work group (egoism, benevolence and principled a la Kohlberg, 1981) and the locus of analysis utilized in reaching decisions (individual, local, cosmopolitan). Building on this typology, data were obtained from a high technology company for the purpose of empirically extending the examination of the number of ethical climates that exist and portraying the relationship between ethical climates and the ethical dimension of decisions.

When faced with decisions posing various types of ethical dilemmas, most respondents indicated they would take the ethical path. The one exception involved bribery where respondents were about equally likely to make or withhold payment. One climate guided by laws/professional codes accounted for over half of the respondents. Several climates accounted for less than ten percent of the respondents.


Economic Growth Work Group High Technology Ethical Dilemma Moral Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Fritzsche
    • 1
  1. 1.Management Division, Penn State Great ValleyMalvernU.S.A.

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