Unravelling Team Ethical Culture: The Existence, Relevance and Implications for Ethics Management



Follow this link to join this PhD defence online. 

Unethical behavior by employees remains a formidable challenge for organizations well into the 21st century, and it is still regrettably common in the workplace. Scandals around unethical behavior continue to surface in all type of organizations: private, public, and non-governmental. Despite the growing adoption of ethics programs to prevent unethical behavior, the headlines about such scandals and the surveys that have been conducted in the workplace consistently indicate its high prevalence worldwide.

This dissertation studies the role of team ethical culture (TEC) in the prevention of unethical behavior. The studies comprising this dissertation aim to improve our understanding of TEC and its role in making an ethics program effective at preventing unethical behavior. The first study researches the existence of different TEC within an organization and its relevance in preventing unethical behavior and the responses to it (e.g., reporting to managers, or remaining silent). The second study explores the mediating role of TEC in the relationship between a well-implemented ethics program and unethical behavior. Finally, the third and fourth studies investigate both the ethics programs and TEC as multidimensional constructs and explore the TEC dimensions (pathways) through which the components of ethics programs influence unethical behavior. Overall, this dissertation’s novelty in the study of ethical culture is the use of one organization as a case study, while contributing to a better understanding of the effectiveness of ethics programs at preventing unethical behavior across teams.