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Organizational Ethics

Stanley Deetz and George Cheney

Subject Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

Key-Topics ethics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Organizational ethics includes the consideration of a wide number of issues of rights, responsibilities, values, and proper conduct in contemporary organizations and in organizations' relations to host societies. Conceptions and studies of organizational ethics have focused on both internal practices and social consequences and have been descriptive as well as normative. Unsurprisingly, questions of organizational ethics are prominent today in the wake of major scandals in all sectors and the acknowledged global social, economic, and environmental impacts of large organizations such as multinational corporations. While many organizational ethics studies still focus on individual behavior and issues primarily linked to compliance with organizational policies, communication scholars have become increasingly interested in ethical issues focusing on values, culture, governance, and →  corporate social responsibility , drawing on concepts developed from critical communication theory and cognate areas ( May 2006 ; Deetz & Irvin 2008 ; →  Organizational Communication: Critical Approaches ). Organizational ethics discussions focusing on descriptions of internal organizational practices and individual conduct (often also called business ethics) have emphasized accountability, employee rights and responsibilities, dissent, and whistleblowing, and more recently, transparency (e.g., Seeger ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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