Who pays attention to the moral aspects? Role of organizational justice and moral attentiveness in leveraging ethical behavior

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Abstract
Purpose – Although there have been several studies on corporate justice and employee ethical behavior, little is known about the conditions in which this link develops. The purpose of this study is to investigate the direct effect of organizational justice and moral attentiveness toward employee ethical behavior. Importantly, this study also considers the moderating role of moral attentiveness on the links between organizational justice and employee ethical behavior. Design/methodology/approach – The data was collected from 350 employees who were assessed directly to supervisors in 12 manufacturing companies placed in Malaysia, operated full-time, and had regular interaction with their direct supervisors. In particular, using two-wave survey data obtained from 270 employees working in the manufacturing industry in Malaysia. Findings – Results showed that organizational justice and moral attentiveness positively impact the employee ethical behavior as predicted. New to the literature, findings disclose that moral attentiveness strengthens this relationship. Importantly, the positive impact of organizational justice is sharply positive under high than low moral attentive employees and ceases to be significant among low morally attentive personnel. Research limitations/implications – This research focused on the notion of ethics and how important it is for society. The principles, norms and ideals that guide an individual’s behavior are referred to as ethics. Because the authors need to be treated with dignity as human beings, ethical behavior is essential in society. Practical implications – The findings of this study send a clear signal to managers that “failing to ensure that their employees perceive organizational justice” may undermine every effort made by them to improve their organizations’ ethical quality. Importantly, the findings emphasize the role of moral attentiveness in improving the ethical behavior of employees both directly and by strengthening the effectiveness of organizational justice to impact such a behavior positively. So, given the advantages of moral attentiveness in terms of improving employee ethical conduct, businesses should make every effort to hire and choose people who meet this requirement because it is not easy to spot this personality trait. Human resource managers may assess candidates’ moral attentiveness using a range of methods such as group debate, an in-basket exercise, organized interviews and business games that concentrate on specific ethical concerns. Social implications – This research focused on the notion of ethics and how important it is for society. The principles, norms and ideals that guide an individual’s behavior are referred to as ethics. Because the authors need to be treated with dignity as human beings, ethical behavior is essential in society.
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Archival date: 2022-01-12
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