Ethics in Practice: What Are Managers Really Doing?

Journal of Business Ethics 70 (2):151-163 (2007)
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Abstract

This study asked managers with different educational backgrounds and experience from a variety of industries of a variety of sizes representing both genders and various predominant managerial functions at different levels to “describe the skills they think are necessary to perform their jobs effectively”. In particular, they were asked to rank 178 behavioral skills presented under 22 different categories that described different aspects of management. Data were then examined first to determine the importance of ethics or integrity overall in the group of managerial activities and then to explore how specific ethical activities of managers differ across various managerial and organizational characteristics. Findings indicate that ethics is still considered one of the least important skills necessary in managers’ daily work. However, once specific ethical activities are analyzed separately, significant differences are found across characteristics of managers, as well as those of the organizations at which they work.

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