Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 10, 1999

Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting

Marshall Schminke
Pages 145-156

Considering the business in business ethics
The effect of organizational size and structure on individual ethics

This paper explores the relationship between organizational size, structure and the strength of organization members’ ethical predispositions. It is hypothesized that individuals in smaller, more flexible, organic organizations will display stronger ethical predispositions. Survey results from 209 individuals across eleven organizations indicate that contrary to expectations, larger, more rigid, mechanistic structures were associated with higher levels of ethical formalism and utilitarianism.

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