Psychological foundations of morality and ethical behaviour in organisations | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

Psychological foundations of morality and ethical behaviour in organisations

Research Briefing

Keywords: morality, ethics, character, values, nine types of temperament model, ethical behaviour

In recent years there has been increasing interest, both within organisations, governments and research, in improving standards of ethical and moral behaviour, both in organisations and public life. Many of the avenues of research and organisational interest have been focused on moral cognition (recognising and thinking about ethical and moral aspects to situations and behaviour) and individual moral and ethical development.

Morals and ethics

Whilst the terms morals and ethics are usually used interchangeably within normal language usage, they are, in fact, quite different concepts:

  1. Ethics refers to a set of rules or standards provided by an external source, such as a professional association or workplace behavioural standards or codes of conduct, for example.
  2. Morals refer to an individual’s own principles, regarding what they see to be right and wrong.

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