To ensure ethical employee behavior, companies often utilize several forms of mostly one-way communication such as codes of conduct. The extent to which these efforts, in addition to informing about the company stance on ethics, are able to positively influence behavior is disputed. Research on business ethics communication and behavior reveals that a good predictor of ethical conduct is open workplace dialogue about ethics. In this paper, I therefore address the question: What influences employee attitudes to talking openly about ethical issues? Answers are proposed on the basis of focus group interviews at the healthcare company Novo Nordisk. It was found that interest in discussing ethical issues was influenced by two main factors: employee conceptualizations of business ethics, and the level of inter-collegial trust, credibility, and confidence. In this paper, by examining these phenomena, I aim at providing insight that can help managers in their attempts to promote open workplace dialogue about ethical issues.
Proceedings Conference on Corporate Communication 2010, 2010
Main Research Area:
Conference on Corporate Communication 2010
Corporate Commmunication International at Baruch College/CUNY