The Socio-moral Climate Concept: How does work Shape the Moral Character of Employees?



For a civil society to work, citizens must not only be able to judge and to act in accordance with moral principles, but they must also be prepared for constructive conflict solving. This requires specific moral, prosocial and democratic competencies and orientations that need to be developed.

Whereas an impressive body of research has investigated conditions of moral and prosocial development in the family and the educational context, little is known about how the occupational context (given the fact we spend a considerable amount of time at work) may influence moral and prosocial development.

To address this, we developed the socio–moral climate (SMC) approach. It represents specific elements of organizational climate including principles of communication, teamwork, and decision-making that are assumed to shape moral and prosocial development of the members of an organization.

In the talk, I will present recent and ongoing research that investigates the impact of SMC on employees’ moral attitudes and behavioral orientations and argue that a favorable work environment in terms of SMC is an important factor influencing the effectiveness of organisations and thus, central to the long-term success and sustainability of a company in today's society.