Studies on the ethical culture of organizations have mainly focused on ethical culture at the organizational level. This study explores ethical culture at the team level because this can add a more detailed understanding of the ethics of an organization, which is necessary for more customized and effective management interventions. To find out whether various teams within an organization can have different ethical cultures, we employ the differentiation perspective and conduct a survey of 180 teams from one organization. The results show that there are significant differences between the ethical cultures of teams. These differences are relevant given the different relationships that were established between high and low clusters of team ethical culture and two outcome variables (i.e., the frequency of unethical behavior and employee responses to unethical behavior). The results also show that the dimensions of ethical cultures among teams have different patterns, which indicates the usefulness of using a multidimensional scale for capturing further differences among team ethical cultures.

Corporate ethical virtues, Differentiation perspective, Ethics management, Organizational ethical culture, Team ethical culture,
Journal of Business Ethics
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Cabana, G.C. (Guillem C.), & Kaptein, S.P. (2019). Team Ethical Cultures Within an Organization: A Differentiation Perspective on Their Existence and Relevance. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-019-04376-5