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Managing Workplace Ethics: An Extended Conceptualization of Ethical Sensemaking and the Facilitative Role of Human Resources

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-78560-017-3, eISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 10 June 2015

Abstract

Business ethics provide a potent source of competitive advantage, placing increasing pressure on organizations to create and maintain an ethical workforce. Nonetheless, ethical breaches continue to permeate corporate life, suggesting that there is something missing from how we conceptualize and institutionalize organizational ethics. The current effort seeks to fill this void in two ways. First, we introduce an extended ethical framework premised on sensemaking in organizations. Within this framework, we suggest that multiple individual, organizational, and societal factors may differentially influence the ethical sensemaking process. Second, we contend that human resource management plays a central role in sustaining workplace ethics and explore the strategies through which human resource personnel can work to foster an ethical culture and spearhead ethics initiatives. Future research directions applicable to scholars in both the ethics and human resources domains are provided.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

This research was made possible through funding from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0931539) and the National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5R01NS49535-2), and Michael D. Mumford, Principal Investigator.

Citation

MacDougall, A.E., Bagdasarov, Z., Johnson, J.F. and Mumford, M.D. (2015), "Managing Workplace Ethics: An Extended Conceptualization of Ethical Sensemaking and the Facilitative Role of Human Resources", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 33), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 121-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-730120150000033006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited