Applying the Identity Status Paradigm to Managers’ Moral Identity
Huhtala, M., Lämsä, A.-M., & Feldt, T. (2019). Applying the Identity Status Paradigm to Managers’ Moral Identity. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 4(1), Article 2. https://doi.org/10.16993/sjwop.50
DisciplineBasic or discovery scholarshipJohtaminenPsykologiaBasic or discovery scholarshipManagement and LeadershipPsychology
© 2019 The Author(s)
We investigated the applicability of the identity status paradigm in identifying different stages of moral identity maturity among managers, focusing on how they solve moral conflicts in the context of work. Researchers conducted two theory-driven studies. Study 1 was based on focus group discussions among 16 managers, while Study 2 was based on open-ended questionnaire items from 180 managers. Both studies supported the hypothesized identity statuses. The status named diffusion included a lack of commitment to moral values and associated with avoiding moral questions at work. In foreclosure, extrinsic (e.g., organizational) values were adopted and applied to personal decision-making. Managers in moratorium showed an active exploration of personal values, while those with achieved moral identity showed a commitment to self-chosen moral values. Study 1 showed that the participants applied different ethical principles when describing how they solved moral conflicts. Foreclosed managers tended to use utilitarianism, that is, to prioritize the benefits to their organization, when making ethical decisions. Managers in moratorium used ethics of care more often than others, and achieved managers relied on virtue ethics more than managers with other statuses. Our study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the variation in moral identity maturity in adulthood. Understanding how value exploration and commitment relate to moral identity in the work domain can support more mature forms of moral identity among managers. ...
PublisherStockholm University Press
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