Ethical Orientation of Managers in Insurance Industry in India

International Conference on Business Ethics & Human Values, 2010

15 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2010

See all articles by Sandeep Vij

Sandeep Vij

DAV University, Jalandhar

Ritika Sharma


Parneet Kaur

Punjabi University - School of Management Studies

Date Written: October 25, 2010


This paper is based upon an empirical study conducted to explore the ethical orientation of managers of insurance industry in India. The ethical position of insurance managers has been judged on the basis of ‘relativism’ and ‘idealism’ dimensions determining ethical ideologies as suggested by Forsyth (1980). The study tests the validity and reliability of Ethical Position Questionnaire (EPQ) in the Indian context. For the purpose of questionnaire based survey, a sample of 200 insurance managers (100 each from public and private insurance companies) has been taken from Doaba region of Punjab, which includes districts of Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Kartarpur, Nawanshehr and Hoshiarpur.

According to the taxonomy of Forsyth, 26% of the insurance managers have been found to be ‘absolutists’ and 74% managers are found to be ‘situationists.’ Out of 200 managers, no manager has been found to be ‘subjectivist’ or ‘exceptionist.’ Eighty four percent of the insurance mangers in the Private sector are ‘situationists’ in comparison with 64% in Public sector insurance companies. Similarly, the percentage of ‘situationist’ managers in case of Life Insurance (84.3%) is much higher as compared to General Insurance (57.7%) managers. It has been found that as managers grow older, they place less emphasis on self interest and exhibit a greater concern for the welfare of others. It implies that ethical behaviour of insurance managers improves with age and maturity. Postgraduate managers are comparatively more ‘situationists’ and they are also relatively high on ‘relativism’ as compared to graduate managers. Managers in very low-income category and very high-income category need special attention as they have been found to be highly ‘relativistic’. Another interesting finding of the study is that women insurance managers are having better ethical standards than their male counterparts. In the light of the findings, the study makes suggestions for insurance industry and public policy makers for improving the ethical standards in the insurance industry in India.

Keywords: Ethical Orientation, Ethical Ideologies, Ethics Positions Theory, Insurance Managers

Suggested Citation

Vij, Sandeep and Sharma, Ritika and Kaur, Parneet, Ethical Orientation of Managers in Insurance Industry in India (October 25, 2010). International Conference on Business Ethics & Human Values, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Sandeep Vij (Contact Author)

DAV University, Jalandhar ( email )

Jalandhar-Pathankot National Highway
JALANDHAR, Punjab 144012
919876045957 (Phone)


Ritika Sharma

INC-ASIM ( email )


Parneet Kaur

Punjabi University - School of Management Studies ( email )


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics