Models of Personal and Organizational Moral Development

Models of Personal and Organizational Moral Development
Personal Moral Development
Organizational Moral Development
Physical consequences determine
moral behavior. Avoidance of
punishment and deference to power
typify this stage.
Social Darwinism: Fear of extinction and the
urgency of financial survival dictate moral
conduct. The direct use of force is the acceptable
Individual pleasure needs are the
primary concern and dictate attitudes
toward behavior.
The approval of others determines
behavior. The good person is one
who satisfies family, friends, and
Machiavellianism: Organizational gain guides
actions. Successfully attaining goals justifies the
use of any effective means, including individual
Cultural Conformity: A tradition of standard
operating procedures and caring groups. Peer
professional pressure to adhere to social norms
dictates right or wrong behavior.
Compliance with authority,
upholding of the social order, and
"doing one's duty" are primary
Allegiance to Authority: Directions from legal
authority determine moral standards. Right and
wrong are based on the decisions of those with
legitimate hierarchical power.
Tolerance for rational dissent and
acceptance of majority rule become
primary ethical concerns.
Democratic Participation: Participation in
decision making and reliance on majority rule
become organizational moral standards.
Participative management becomes
What is right and good is a matter of
individual conscience and
responsibly chosen commitments.
Morality is based on principled
personal conviction.
Organizational Integrity: Justice and individual
rights are the moral ideals. Balanced judgment
among competing interests shapes organizational
character which, in turn, determines the rightness
or wrongness of behavior.
Source: J. A. Petrick, R..A. Wagley, and T. J. Von der Embse, “Structured
Ethical Decision Making: Improving the Prospects of Managerial Success in
Business,” SAM Advanced Management Journal, Winter 1991, p. 30.