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Attitudinal Effects of Ethical Work Climate: An Organizational Analysis

PAQ, Vol. 43 No. 4, (2019)

The past two decades have observed a growing research interest in understanding the impact of ethical organizational context on public employee work attitudes. This study contributes to this growing body of literature on the link between ethics and management by examining how public agencies’ level of ethical work climate (EWC) influences agency- level work motivation and turnover intention rate (measured separately as intention to transfer to another agency and intention to leave the federal government). An organizational-level analysis of federal government data shows that EWC is a critical element of a desirable workplace where employees are motivated to work hard. A federal agency’s level of EWC is also associated with the agency’s transfer intention rate, but not with the agency’s rate of employees intending to leave the federal government. The paper discusses implications of the research findings and concludes by discussing its limitations and making suggestions for future research.
Keywords: Ethical work climate, employee work motivation, turnover intention rate, U.S. federal government

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