Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a measure designed to assess constructs that predict ethical decision making (EDM) among employees. Design/methodology/approach – The approach was to target individual difference variables that are theoretically linked to EDM. This was done by generating biodata items/scales of the constructs of interest. Findings – Two biodata scales were developed to measure locus of control and conscientiousness. Both of these scales had significant criterion‐related validities with EDM ( r s=0.42 and 0.40, respectively) and predicted significant and unique variance of EDM beyond the variance predicted by trait‐based measures of the same constructs. Biodata scales exhibited little or no subgroup differences (less potential adverse impact). Research limitations/implications – Participants were working various jobs and a variety of settings, so results generalize to this eclectic population more so than one particular industry. Further research should attempt to examine effects in a specific applied setting. Practical implications – This study outlines a method of item and scale development that produces homogonous scales that predict EDM and that can be tailored for specific organizational use. Originality/value – The paper provides a theoretical rationale for why biodata methodology is superior to trait‐based measures and practical value for the use of biodata in measuring individual difference constructs.
Journal of Managerial Psychology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 25, 2007
Keywords: Decision making; Ethics; Personality measurement; Selection; Tests and testing; Biodata
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