A selection of interesting articles we found recently looking inside ethical firms.

Predictors of organisational citizenship behaviour: ethical leadership and workplace jealousy
This study examined the relationships of perceived ethical leadership, workplace jealousy, and organisational citizenship behaviours (OCB) directed at individuals (OCBI) and organisations (OCBO). Survey responses were collected from 491 employee-coworker pairs from 33 hospitals in Taiwan. The employees provided assessments of their perceived ethical leadership and the workplace jealousy they experienced, while the coworkers provided information about the employees’ OCBI and OCBO.

In the hypotheses testing, perceived ethical leadership was found to be negatively related to employees’ workplace jealousy and jealousy was negatively related to their OCBI and OCBO. Workplace jealousy partially mediated the effect of ethical leadership on OCBI and OCBO. In addition, perceived ethical leadership was found to have a moderation effect on the jealousy-OCBI/OCBO relationship.

This study contributes to the literature of ethical leadership as well as to the literature of OCB by relating workplace jealousy to OCB and by making sense of the effects of ethical leadership on OCB through the mediation of jealousy and through the moderation of ethical leadership on the jealousy-OCB relationship.

Read further at: Yau-De Wang & Wen-Chuan Sung. 2016. Predictors of Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Ethical Leadership and Workplace Jealousy.
Journal of Business Ethics, 135(1), 117-128.


Is ethical dysfunctionality the organisation’s fault?
The literature on organisational ethicality to date has focused primarily on elements of the cultural, social, and political factors that enhance positive behaviours, interspersed with isolated accounts of malfeasance and wrongdoing. This treatise defines the anatomy of organisational dysfunction as a matter of ethicality, reframing the relationship from individual transgression to the organisation itself.

It is argued that the structure of an organisation predisposes in large part whether it is itself conducive or prohibitive to unethical acts. This approach allows for a new stream of ethics research whose focus is how an organisation functions rather than on the specific acts of those within it.

Read more: Carole L. Jurkiewicz & Robert A. Giacalone. 2016. Organizational determinants of ethical dysfunctionality.
Journal of Business Ethics, 136(1), 1-12.


Does victim anonymity enhance unethical behaviour? 
Yes, according to Kai Chi Yam and Scott  Reynolds, who theorise that victim anonymity is an important factor in ethical decision making, such that actors engage in more self-interested and unethical behaviours toward anonymous victims than they do toward identifiable victims.

Three experiments provided empirical support for this argument. In Study 1, participants withheld more life-saving products from anonymous than from identifiable victims. In Study 2, participants allocated a sum of payment more unfairly when interacting with an anonymous than with an identifiable partner. Finally, in Study 3, participants cheated more from an anonymous than from an identifiable person. Anticipated guilt fully mediated these effects in all three studies. Taken together, this research suggests that anonymous victims may be more likely to incur unethical treatment, which could explain many unethical business behaviours.

Find more at: Kai Chi Yam & Scott J. Reynolds. 2016. The effects of victim anonymity on unethical behavior.
Journal of Business Ethics, 136(1), 13-22.


An extended model of moral outrage at corporate social irresponsibility
A growing body of literature documents the important role played by moral outrage or moral anger in stakeholders’ reactions to cases of corporate social irresponsibility. Existing research focuses more on the consequences of moral outrage than a systematic analysis of how appraisals of irresponsible corporate behaviour can lead to this emotional experience.

In this paper, Paolo Antonetti and Stan Maklan develop and test, in two field studies, an extended model of moral outrage that identifies the cognitions that lead to, and are associated with, this emotional experience. This research contributes to the existing literature on reactions to corporate social irresponsibility by explaining how observers’ evaluation of irresponsible corporate behaviour leads to reactions of moral anger.

The paper also helps clarify the difference between moral outrage and other types of anger and offers useful insights for managers who have to confront public outrage following cases of irresponsible corporate behaviour. Finally, the analysis of the causes of stakeholders’ anger at irresponsible corporations opens important avenues for future research that are presented in the paper.

Read more at: Paolo Antonetti & Stan Maklan. 2016. An extended model of moral outrage at corporate social irresponsibility. 
Journal Of Business Ethics, 135(3), 429-444.


The impact of competitors–firm power divergence on Chinese SMEs’ environmental and financial performance
Competitor pressure is one of the major reasons that a SME engages in environmentally friendly or damaging activities. Extant research has argued that environmental strengths and concerns have mirror opposite relationships with stakeholder antecedents as well as with performance outcomes. Authors Zhi Tang & Jintong Tang suggest this argument does not reflect the reality. Building on stakeholder management and Red Queen theories, the researchers hypothesise that environmental strengths and concerns have differential relationships with competitors–firm power exchange and financial performance for Chinese SMEs.

Results of ten interviews, a pretest, and a large-scale field study indicate that competitors–firm power divergence has a positive relationship with environmental strengths, yet the link between this divergence and environmental concerns does not exist. Further, environmental strengths mediate the relationship between competitors–firm power divergence and financial performance of Chinese SMEs.

For more detail, see: Zhi Tang & Jintong Tang. 2016. The impact of competitors–firm power divergence on chinese smes’ environmental and financial performance.
Journal of Business Ethics, 136(1), 147-165.


Individual competencies for corporate social responsibility: a literature and practice perspective
Because corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be beneficial to both companies and its stakeholders, interest in factors that support CSR performance has grown in recent years. A thorough integration of CSR in core business processes is particularly important for achieving effective long-term CSR practices. Here, the authors explored the individual CSR-related competencies that support CSR implementation in a corporate context.

First, a systematic literature review was performed in which relevant scientific articles were identified and analysed. Next, 28 CSR directors and managers were interviewed. The literature review complemented with interview data resulted in the following eight distinct CSR-related competencies:

(1) Anticipating CSR challenges;
(2) Understanding CSR-relevant systems and subsystems;
(3) Understanding CSR-relevant standards;
(4) CSR management competencies, including (4a) Leading CSR programs, (4b) Managing CSR programs, and (4c) Identifying and realizing CSR-related business opportunities;
(5) Realizing CSR-supportive interpersonal processes;
(6) Employing CSR-supportive personal characteristics and attitudes;
(7) Personal value-driven competencies, including (7a) Ethical normative competencies, (7b) Balancing personal ethical values and business objectives, and (7c) Realizing self-regulated CSR-related behaviours and active involvement; and
(8) Reflecting on personal CSR views and experiences.

Based on these results, implications for further research on this topic, as well as implications for practitioners, are discussed.

Further information is at: E. R. Osagie, R. Wesselink, V. Blok, T. Lans & M. Mulder. 2016. Individual Competencies for Corporate Social Responsibility: A Literature and Practice Perspective.
Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 233-252.