Moral awareness in business organizations: Influences of issue-related and social context factors

Kenneth D. Butterfield, Linda K. Trevino, Gary R. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

232 Scopus citations


Individuals' awareness of moral issues is an important first step in the ethical decision-making process. Relying on research in social cognition and business ethics, we hypothesized that moral awareness is influenced by issue-related factors (magnitude of consequences of the moral issue and issue framing in moral terms) and social context-related factors (competitive context and perceived social consensus that the issue is ethically problematic). The hypotheses were tested in a field experiment involving 291 competitive intelligence practitioners. Results generally supported the hypotheses. Qualitative analysis yielded additional insights into the content of respondents' moral awareness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-1018
Number of pages38
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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