Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 245–256 | Cite as

Organizational Ethics: Perceptions of Employees by Gender

  • Charlotte McDaniel
  • Nancy Shoeps
  • John Lincourt


As more women enter the work force and assume management positions in corporations, increasing attention is being given to employment diversity. In addition, studies suggest that females have more propensity for ethics than males. However, these results may be debatable and limited data are available to substantiate these claims or assess gender differences among employees. Ethics codes can aid in supporting policies and enhancing corporate diversity. To assist one company in the development of an ethics code, a survey of 4005 employees in one U.S. corporation was conducted to ascertain their opinions of the ethical environment of the company. The survey used the Ethics Environment Questionnaire (EEQ), consisting of twenty items on a 5-point Likert-type scale; reliability on Cronbach's alpha was 0.94. Response rate was 50%, with the sample paralleling the population in proportion of males and females. Respondents reported a profile of 3.18 out of the high of 5.0, but with several significant differences between the male and female employees, including differences on education and position. Males were more in agreement than females that the firm had an ethical environment. On some items, however, males and females were in strong agreement. Comparisons to prior studies were drawn, including suggestions for ways corporations could use an ethics survey to tailor in-service training, enhance diversity in the work force, and support the development of an ethics code.

business ethics diversity ethical environment gender organizational ethics 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte McDaniel
    • 1
  • Nancy Shoeps
    • 2
  • John Lincourt
    • 3
  1. 1.Candler School of TheologyEmory University, AtlantaU.S.A.
  2. 2.Office of Statistics & Applied MathematicsU.S.A
  3. 3.Center for Applied EthicsThe University of North Carolina-CharlotteCharlotteU.S.A

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