When organizational identification elicits moral decision-making: a matter of the right climate

Suzanne van Gils*, Michael A. Hogg, Niels Van Quaquebeke, Daan van Knippenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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To advance current knowledge on ethical decision-making in organizations, we integrate two perspectives that have thus far developed independently: the organizational identification perspective and the ethical climate perspective. We illustrate the interaction between these perspectives in two studies (Study 1, N = 144, US sample; and Study 2, N = 356, UK sample), in which we presented participants with moral business dilemmas. Specifically, we found that organizational identification increased moral decision-making only when the organization's climate was perceived to be ethical. In addition, we disentangle this effect in Study 2 from participants' moral identity. We argue that the interactive influence of organizational identification and ethical climate, rather than the independent influence of either of these perspectives, is crucial for understanding moral decision-making in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-168
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Organizational identification
  • Ethical climate
  • Moral decision-making
  • Moral identity

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