Employee ethical attitudes

contextual differences and impact on perceived quality of leadership relationships

Denise Jepsen, Don Hine, Andrew Noblet, Ray Cooksey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examines the differences in how employees and their supervisors view ethical dilemmas. A 20 item ethical attitudes scale of vignettes in six categories of ethical dilemmas - business, discrimination, environment, marketing, personal finances and sexuality was developed and distributed to 152 male and female employees. To determine the way employees see themselves as ethically similar to their supervisors, respondents' own attitudes were compared with their perceptions of their supervisors' attitudes to the same ethical dilemmas. A small but significant contribution to the quality of the leadership relationship can be accounted for by the ethical similarity of an employee and their supervisor. Results also demonstrated that employees have a 'more strict' moral or ethical attitude towards non-organisational than organisational ethical dilemmas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalInternational employment relations review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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