Organizational culture refers to
the assumptions, beliefs, goals, knowledge and values that are shared by
organizational members (Racelis, 2009).
As an employee has an ethical dilemma, his or her values will formulate
the ethical development of the situation.
The study in the 2010 article,
Racelis seeks to explore and have a basic understanding of the relationship
between such value systems and employees’ perceptions of organizational ethics. Analysis of a
survey of 136 MBA students who are managers in Philippine companies regarding
their firms’ culture and their organizational members’ perceptions of ethics
reveals that there is a slightly significant relationship between particular
cultural characteristics and employee perceptions of organizational ethics
Interest in culture as a potential key or
critical lever for organizational effectiveness has increased rapidly because
of the rising tide of global competition bringing diverse cultures together in
business and teamwork (Racelis, 2010).
Organizational culture equals an in sync organization. It distinguishes the difference between organizations
and its employees. Ethics can be
distinguished from morality in that, while morality deals in general with
principles of right or wrong conduct, ethics is more concerned with standards
of conduct acceptable to a group, a profession or members of an organization
(Racelis, 2010). It is key to understand
the relationship between value systems and how employees perceive an
This study questions whether or not there
is a relationship between employee perceptions of ethics and organizational
culture. It is clear that employee
values and organization values are intertwined and businesses are being
pressured not only to be ethically knowledgeable but also to act as such. 136 MBA students were given a questionnaire
that covered a three-month period. The
“Corporate Ethics Scale” of Hunt, Wood and Chonko (1989) was used for the
survey of Corporate Ethics since each of the measures is directly associated
with ethical perceptions of employees in relation to their managers and the
corporation as a whole. This scale
consisted of 16 questions and these questions are broken down into four
categories of organizational culture.
The four categories are clan, hierarch, adhocracy, and market.
Factor analysis of the corporate ethics
survey responses resulted in only one ethics factor, which we shall call
“ethical orientation” (Racelis, 2010).
According to Racelis (2010), the organizational culture factor analysis
results show that, based on respondents’ descriptions of the culture within
their organizations, the Philippine firms in the sample do not possess any
dominant, unitary culture within them.
The analysis shows that the organizations are comprised of
subcultures. Subcultures can be
summarized as (a) a dynamic and entrepreneurial culture emphasizing growth,
innovation, competition and human resources; (b) a formalized and structural
culture, oriented towards permanence and stability; (c) a production-oriented
culture, with a leader considered to be a coordinator and administrator; and
(d) a tradition-oriented “family” culture, with the head generally considered
to be a parent figure (Racelis, 2010).
The study of 136
MBA students showed a somewhat considerable relationship between specific
cultural characteristics and how an employee perceives organizational
ethics. The managerial implications of
this finding involve discussions of the cultural values that are needed
depending on the life-cycle or developmental stage at which the organization
finds itself (Racelis, 2010).
The results of
the survey can be applied to the Defense Media Activity as it goes through an
important leadership change. Conducting
a study between key organization leaders and employees can measure the three
broad-based perceptions. The three
broad-based perceptions are: (a) the extent to which employees perceive that
managers are acting ethically in their organization, (b) the extent to which
employees perceive that managers are concerned about the issues of ethics in
their organization, and (c) the extent to which employees perceive that ethical
(or unethical) behavior is rewarded (or punished) in their organization