The assessment of individual moral goodness

Business Ethics: A European Review 26 (1):31-46 (2016)
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Abstract

In a field dominated by research on moral prescription and moral prediction, there is poor understanding of the place of moral perceptions in organizations alongside philosophical ethics and causal models of ethical outcomes. As leadership failures continue to plague organizational health and firms recognize the wide-ranging impact of subjective bias, scholars and practitioners need a renewed frame of reference from which to reconceptualize their current understanding of ethics as perceived in individuals. Based on an assessment and selection perspective from the field of human resource management, an alternative to conventional deductive-prescriptive approaches is proposed based on a pluralistic concept referred to as moral goodness. An inductive-descriptive theory-building framework is constructed based on three interrelated streams of inquiry to yield insight concerning both formal and informal instances of assessment. Recommendations are proposed for the application of the framework to future research and practice.

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