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Development of a personality biodata measure to predict ethical decision making

Gregory G. Manley (University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Juan Benavidez (Bexar County Human Resources, Texas, USA)
Kristen Dunn (University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 25 September 2007




The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a measure designed to assess constructs that predict ethical decision making (EDM) among employees.


The approach was to target individual difference variables that are theoretically linked to EDM. This was done by generating biodata items/scales of the constructs of interest.


Two biodata scales were developed to measure locus of control and conscientiousness. Both of these scales had significant criterion‐related validities with EDM (rs=0.42 and 0.40, respectively) and predicted significant and unique variance of EDM beyond the variance predicted by trait‐based measures of the same constructs. Biodata scales exhibited little or no subgroup differences (less potential adverse impact). Research limitations/implications – Participants were working various jobs and a variety of settings, so results generalize to this eclectic population more so than one particular industry. Further research should attempt to examine effects in a specific applied setting.

Practical implications

This study outlines a method of item and scale development that produces homogonous scales that predict EDM and that can be tailored for specific organizational use.


The paper provides a theoretical rationale for why biodata methodology is superior to trait‐based measures and practical value for the use of biodata in measuring individual difference constructs.



Manley, G.G., Benavidez, J. and Dunn, K. (2007), "Development of a personality biodata measure to predict ethical decision making", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 664-682.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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