Ethical Culture and Climate

Interest in ethical culture has increased since the U.S. Sentencing Commission revised its guidelines for sentencing organizational defendants in 2004. Because of concerns that organizations were developing “window dressing” ethics and compliance programs, these revised guidelines call for more attention to the ethical “culture” of the organization and the need to align formal ethics programs with this broader ethical culture.

Ethical climate and culture represent somewhat different but related ways of thinking about the environment in organizations, which can influence organizational members' ethics-related attitudes and behaviors. Like the organizational climate and culture literatures more generally, these ways of thinking and some combine the aspects of different dimensions. Additional construct validity work will be required to confirm the dimensionality of the ethical climate construct and the ...

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