To advance current knowledge on ethical decision-making in organizations, we integrate two perspectives that have thus far developed independently: the organizational identification perspective and the ethical climate perspective. We illustrate the interaction between these perspectives in two studies (Study 1, N = 144, US sample; and Study 2, N = 356, UK sample), in which we presented participants with moral business dilemmas. Specifically, we found that organizational identification increased moral decision-making only when the organization’s climate was perceived to be ethical. In addition, we disentangle this effect in Study 2 from participants’ moral identity. We argue that the interactive influence of organizational identification and ethical climate, rather than the independent influence of either of these perspectives, is crucial for understanding moral decision-making in organizations.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Business Ethics
Department of Organisation and Personnel Management

van Gils, S., Hogg, M. A., van Quaquebeke, N., & van Knippenberg, D. (2017). When Organizational Identification Elicits Moral Decision-Making: A Matter of the Right Climate. Journal of Business Ethics, 142(1), 155–168. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2784-0