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Ethical Climates in Organizations: A Review and Research Agenda

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 August 2017

Alexander Newman
Deakin University
Heather Round
Deakin University
Sukanto Bhattacharya
Deakin University
Achinto Roy
Deakin University


Since seminal meta-analytical work in 2006 we have witnessed burgeoning research on ethical climates. This article offers a comprehensive review of literature examining the antecedents and outcomes of ethical climates over the last decade, as well as moderators of the relationship between ethical climates and other variables. Based on the review, an agenda for future research is also presented. In addition to highlighting the potential for incorporating alternative theoretical perspectives such as situational strength theory, trait-activation theory, social information processing theory, and institutional theory to better our understanding of ethical climates, this article highlights the need for future research to incorporate a dynamic perspective to study ethical climates, examine the curvilinear effects of ethical climates on work outcomes, extend the study of ethical climates to different levels of the organization, and examine the effects of culture on ethical climates.

Copyright © Society for Business Ethics 2017 

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