The framing of moral foundations alters perceptions of ethical business practices
Jones, D. N. (2015). The framing of moral foundations alters perceptions of ethical business practices. EJBO - Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 20 (2), 27-33. Retrieved from http://ejbo.jyu.fi
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Pressure to be both ethical and profitable can create conflicts. Morality is multi-faceted, and ethical perceptions of a company that chooses shareholder profits over avoiding community harm may depend on one’s endorsement of different moral foundations. Participants responded to different ethical dilemmas where companies chose shareholder profit over avoiding community harm. Across all studies, moral foundations influenced ethical perceptions. Study 1 found that endorsement of the moral foundation of harm avoidance was associated with decreased ethical perceptions of a company choosing shareholder profits over avoiding community harm, whereas loyalty endorsement was associated with the opposite effect. Study 2 found that priming participants with harm avoidance further decreased ethical perceptions of a company choosing shareholder profits over avoiding community harm, above and beyond dispositional endorsement of harm avoidance. Study 3 replicated the effect that high endorsement of harm avoidance and decreased ethical perceptions. However, there was also a significant loyalty endorsement × shareholder interaction; such loyalty-endorsing shareholders were most likely to view companies favoring shareholder profits over avoiding community harm as ethical. These results suggest that ethical perceptions of a may depend on moral framing and emphasis on different moral foundations. ...
PublisherJyväskylän yliopisto, Business and Organization Ethics Network (BON)