Does tenure impact upon the principled reasoning of managers?

Journal of Business Ethics 40 (3):219 - 226 (2002)
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The relationship between tenure and principled reasoning is of vital importance to the fields of management and business ethics, as more tenured managers often hold influential posts and have the ability to affect the overall ethical tones of their organizations. Few researchers have studied this relationship, however, and those studies that have been conducted have produced mixed results. While some researchers have found that greater tenure is associated with higher levels of ethical reasoning, others have found the reverse to be true. The findings of this particular study of 270 current U.S. corporate managers, who responded to a nationwide survey, indicated that there is indeed a link between tenure and principled reasoning. More tenured managers demonstrated lower principled reasoning than their less tenured counterparts. As the number of years of tenure increased, principled reasoning scores declined. The results of this study, as well as a comparison to the results of previous studies that have been conducted, are discussed within this paper.



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