The relationship between ethical ideology and ethical behavior intentions: An exploratory look at physicians' responses to managed care dilemmas [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 31 (3):209 - 224 (2001)
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Within the past few years, managed care health insurance programs have become commonplace. With managed care programs, however, physicians are facing increasing ethical pressures. This paper examines the relationship between physicians'' behavior intentions with respect to four managed care ethical scenarios and their responses to Forsyth''s (1980) Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ). This is one of the first papers to compare this scale to behavioral intentions in the workplace. We provide a literature review of the ethical dilemmas that doctors face under a managed care system and conduct a national random sample of general practitioners and surgeons regarding the four managed care ethical dilemmas. The results show that the doctors surveyed are significantly more idealistic than relativistic. In relating the EPQ to the ethical scenarios, however, there was no support for the proposition that ethical ideology was related to the ethical behavioral intentions. This suggests more research is needed to establish the links between ethical positions, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Finally, there were little differences in EPQ scores by practice or demographic variables, the only significant result being that general surgeons are significantly more idealistic than family practitioners.



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