Moral Reasoning and Ethical Climate: Not-for-Profit vs. For-Profit Boards of Directors

Moral Reasoning and Ethical Climate: Not-for-Profit vs. For-Profit Boards of Directors Utilizing Rest's moral development and Victor and Cullen's ethical climate surveys, we examine differences in moral reasoning and ethical climate between board members in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Six for-profit corporations and seven not-for-profit corporations, all with base operations in a major midwestern state, participated in the study. We find that profit and not-for-profit boards may not differ in moral reasoning, but do exhibit different types of ethical climates. We also find that for-profit board members may utilize higher stages of reasoning a greater percentage of the time than not-for-profit directors. In contrast, the ethical climates of the two types of organizations are significantly different. For-profit companies had climates higher in egoism than did not-for-profit companies. In addition, not-for-profit firms reflected higher benevolence factors than for-profit firms. Not-forprofit organizations also had somewhat higher, but not significantly different, mean scores on the principle factor compared to the for-profit organizations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Moral Reasoning and Ethical Climate: Not-for-Profit vs. For-Profit Boards of Directors

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
DOI
10.1023/A:1006150115975
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Utilizing Rest's moral development and Victor and Cullen's ethical climate surveys, we examine differences in moral reasoning and ethical climate between board members in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Six for-profit corporations and seven not-for-profit corporations, all with base operations in a major midwestern state, participated in the study. We find that profit and not-for-profit boards may not differ in moral reasoning, but do exhibit different types of ethical climates. We also find that for-profit board members may utilize higher stages of reasoning a greater percentage of the time than not-for-profit directors. In contrast, the ethical climates of the two types of organizations are significantly different. For-profit companies had climates higher in egoism than did not-for-profit companies. In addition, not-for-profit firms reflected higher benevolence factors than for-profit firms. Not-forprofit organizations also had somewhat higher, but not significantly different, mean scores on the principle factor compared to the for-profit organizations.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 9, 2004

References

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