Journal of Business Ethics 100 (2):191 - 207 (2011)

Taking multidimensional ethics scale approach, this article describes an empirical survey of top managers' moral decision-making patterns and their change from 1994 to 2004 during morally problematic situations in the Finnish context. The survey questionnaire consisted of four moral dilemmas and a multidimensional scale with six ethical dimensions: justice, deontology, relativism, utilitarianism, egoism and female ethics. The managers evaluated their decision-making in the problems using the multidimensional ethics scale. Altogether 880 questionnaires were analysed statistically. It is concluded that relying on the utilitarian principles is a core ethical evaluation criterion amongst top business managers in Finland. This study proves that managers' moral decision-making patterns change over time. According to the results of this research, managers' moral decision-making became more multidimensional during the study period. The change is explained by (1) the inclusion of female ethics items in the scale which allows managers to show more diversity in their decisionmaking, (2) the change in the Finnish economic context from depression to economic prosperity and growth during the study period, which is conducive to the spread of post materialist values, such as the importance of social relations and (3) the increasing public discussion of the importance ethical issues in business
Keywords managers’ moral decision-making  change  multidimensional ethics scale  moral dilemmas  survey research  Finland
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-010-0467-4
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,199
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How Ethical Are Purchasing Management Professionals?Robert Landeros & Richard E. Plank - 1996 - Journal of Business Ethics 15 (7):789 - 803.


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #183,032 of 2,517,922 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,045 of 2,517,922 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes