Corporate ethics programs as control systems: Influences of executive commitment and environmental factors

Gary R. Weaver, Linda K. Trevino, Philip L. Cochran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

358 Scopus citations


Our study asked why corporations introduce formal programs to manage ethics and why those programs display varying characteristics. We used control theory to delineate an ethics program's scope and its orientation toward compliance-and values-based control. Managerial choice theory suggests that environmental factors and management's ethical commitment will influence these dimensions. Environmental factors were the stronger influences on scope, but management commitment was the stronger determinant of control orientation. Research and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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