Title

Ethics Code Familiarity and Usefulness: Views on Idealist and Relativist Managers Under Varying Conditions of Turbulence

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2003

Abstract

The purpose of this present research is to expand upon the foundation that codes of ethics are more useful guides to managers in their behavior and decision-making when managers are more familiar with code content and intentions. We explore whether the impact of code familiarity on code usefulness differs: (a) under varying conditions of turbulence and (b) between persons with relativist versus idealist personal values. Data have been collected from a sample of 1700 executives in member companies of the U.S. Direct Selling Association, and responses were received from 286 (16.8% returned). Perceptions of ethics code familiarity and usefulness decline as business turbulence increases. The decline in familiarity/usefulness was more pronounced for managers with a relativistic ethical orientation.