Victor and Cullen (1987) developed the Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ), an instrument that is used to determine the ethical climate of a firm or group. The questionnaire examines employee perceptions concerning how members of their organizations deal with ethical choices that confront them.
The ECQ is based on the assumption that the ethical climate in an organization can be classified along two dimensions: the ethical criteria used for decision making, and the locus of analysis used as a referent (Victor and Cullen, 1988). The three ethical criteria are egoism (maximizing one own interests), benevolence (maximizing the interests of as many people as possible) and principle (adherence to universal standards and beliefs).
Using the ECQ, six different ethical climates were identified: (1) Professional. (2) Caring.(3) Rules.(4) Instrumental. (5) Efficiency. (6) Independence.
In addition, there are multiple factors that could affect the ethical behaviour in a firm. These variables include: Gender, Tenure, Education and Age.
Dimensions of the ethical climate
Bartels et al. (1998) carried out a study examining the relationship between the strength of an organization’s ethical climate and the problems with its human resource management considerations. There are two different dimensions to ethical climate: its strength and its direction. The direction is the variable that is determined through Victor and Cullen’s ECQ. The strength of an organization’s ethical climate determines how much control it has over its employees, i.e. how strongly employees are attached to its norms. Ethical climate and deviant workplace behaviour
Reasons for unethical and deviant behaviour
Presence of counter norms and the ‘‘effect/danger’’ ratio Operational environment
Organizational frustration and change
Current solutions and trends towards preventing unethical...