Longitudinal Patterns of Ethical Organisational Culture as a Context for Leaders’ Well-Being: Cumulative Effects Over 6 Years

M Huhtala, Muel Kaptein, J Muotka, T Feldt

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Abstract

The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the temporal dynamics of ethical organisational culture and how it associates with well-being at work when potential changes in ethical culture are measured over an extended period of 6 years. We used a person-centred study design, which allowed us to detect both typical and atypical patterns of ethical culture stability as well as change among a sample of leaders. Based on latent profile analysis and hierarchical linear modelling we found longitudinal, concurrent relations and cumulative gain and loss cycles between different ethical culture patterns and leaders’ well-being. Leaders in the strongest ethical culture pattern experienced the highest level of work engagement and a decreasing level of ethical dilemmas and stress. Leaders who gave the lowest ratings on ethical culture which also decreased over time reported the highest level of ethical dilemmas, stress, and burnout. They also showed a continuous increase in these negative outcomes over time. Thus, ethical culture has significant cumulative effects on well-being, and these longitudinal effects can be both negative and positive, depending on the experienced strength of the culture’s ethicality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-442
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume177
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open Access funding provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU). This work was supported by the Academy of Finland under Grant Nos. 294428 and 308336; and by the Finnish Work Environment Fund under Grant Nos. 108124 and 110104.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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