Proposed relationships of selected factors to ethical judgments and ethical behavioral intentions
The major purpose of this study was to provide an empirical evaluation of the relationship of selected individual differences factors to Ethical Judgments and Ethical Behavioral Intentions. Another purpose was to further evaluate the relationship between Ethical Judgments and Ethical Behavioral Intentions in an ethics context.
Theoretical support was found for the hypotheses that Idealism, Relativism, Machiavellianism, the Just World construct, and Locus of Control may influence Ethical Judgments and Ethical Behavioral Intentions. Support was also found for the hypothesized relationship between Ethical Judgments and Ethical Behavioral Intentions.
Scales used to measure the variables have been reported in the social sciences literature. This literature provided evidence of scale reliability and validity. An instrument was developed which included scales to measure the variables and items designed to gather classification data.
The sample was randomly drawn from a specialized list of members of the American Marketing Association whose primary interest is Marketing Management and Sales Management. The questionnaire was pretested and then mailed to 1813 Marketing managers included in the sample. The overall response rate was 26.8 percent, with a total of 486 usable responses included in the analyses.
The primary statistical methodology used in this study is structural equation modeling. Structural modeling was accomplished through the use of LISREL.
The research design required respondents to evaluate three scenarios which were selected to provide considerable variability in perceived ethical content. This design required LISREL statistical evaluation of three different models. Statistical criteria utilized to evaluate the final models indicated a good model fit.
Path analysis of the first model resulted in a number of findings. Idealism, Relativism, Just World, and the Locus of Control factors were related to Machiavellianism. Machiavellianism was related to Ethical Behavioral Intentions. Idealism was related to Ethical Judgments and Machiavellianism. In the final model for the second scenario, Idealism, Relativism, Just World, and the Locus of Control factors were related to Machiavellianism. Ethical Judgments and Relativism were related to Ethical Behavioral Intentions. The final model for the third scenario was identical to that of the first scenario except that Machiavellianism was related to Ethical Judgments rather than Ethical Behavioral Intentions.