Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 375–390 | Cite as

Considering the Business in Business Ethics: An Exploratory Study of the Influence of Organizational Size and Structure on Individual Ethical Predispositions

  • Marshall Schminke


This paper explores the relationship between organizational size, structure and the strength of organization members' ethical predispositions. It is hypothesized that individuals in smaller, more flexible, organic organizations will display stronger ethical predispositions. Survey results from 209 individuals across eleven organizations indicate that contrary to expectations, larger, more rigid, mechanistic structures were associated with higher levels of ethical formalism and utilitarianism. Implications of these findings are discussed.

centralization ethics formalism formalization mechanistic organic size structure utilitarianism 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall Schminke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoU.S.A

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