Ambiguous Allure: The Valuepragmatics Model of Ethical Decision Making

29 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009

See all articles by George W. Watson

George W. Watson

Southern Illinois University - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

ROBYN A. BERKLEY

affiliation not provided to SSRN

STEVEN D. PAPAMARCOS

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Research in organizational ethics emphasizes those dispositional factors that are expected to foster positive ethical behavior. We seek to contribute to this literature by including personal values that are in contention with moral outcomes. Specifically, we combine the values of hedonism and power with benevolence and universalism. Our underlying premise of this valuepragmatics model is that nonmoral, as well as moral, dispositional characteristics simultaneously influence ethical decision making. We further contribute to the existing research by investigating how these contending values interact with situational factors, such as performance rewards and punishments for unethical conduct. We administer an experiment to subjects (N = 177) and analyze their decisions regarding the likelihood they would act unethically. Results indicate that both morally relevant and nonmoral variables have direct effects on these decisions, and that nonmoral as well as moral values interact with situational factors to significantly influence decisions. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Watson, George W. and BERKLEY, ROBYN A. and PAPAMARCOS, STEVEN D., Ambiguous Allure: The Valuepragmatics Model of Ethical Decision Making. Business and Society Review, Vol. 114, Issue 1, pp. 1-29, March 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1375826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8594.2009.00333.x

George W. Watson

Southern Illinois University - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

1 Hairpin Drive
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1102
United States

ROBYN A. BERKLEY

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

STEVEN D. PAPAMARCOS

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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