Dimensions and Types of Ethical Climate within Public Sector Human Resource Management
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Background - In recent years there has been increasing emphasis on ethical behaviour within public sector jurisdictions. One approach to the description of the ethical characteristics of workplace environments is that of ethical climate. Purpose - The purpose of the study is to identify the dimensions relevant to ethical climate in public sector human resource (HR) management. The study also identifies different types of ethical climate profile and evaluates the degree to which these types of ethical environment can be seen to represent a moral continuum. Design/methodology/approach - Questionnaires were returned from 255 public sector HR practitioners. Principal components analysis identified climate dimensions and guided scale development. Cluster analysis identified different types of ethical climate within the sample. Findings - Five ethical climate dimensions were identified and 5 scales developed: Law and rules (? = .83); Caring (? = .84); Independence (? = .73); Instrumental (? = .64); and Efficiency (? = .66). Five types of ethical climate environment were also identified. Analysis of differences between these five types of ethical environment displayed a complex pattern of differences in cluster profiles. Conclusions - The findings of this study support the notion that different types of organisation will display different sets of ethical climate dimensions. Analysis of differences between different types of climate environment failed to support the notion that ethical environments lie along a simple unidimensional moral continuum. The study was limited to three public service jurisdictions within a single country. Expanding beyond these limitations would increase generalisability.
Journal of New Business Ideas & Trends
© 2011 Australian Business Education Research Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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