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Organisational structure, communication and group ethics

  • Matthew Ellman

    ()

  • Paul Pezanis-Christou

    ()

This paper investigates experimentally how organisational decision processes affect the moral motivations of actors inside a firm that must forego profits to reduce harming a third party. In a "vertical" treatment, one insider unilaterally sets the harm-reduction strategy; the other can only accept or quit. In a "horizontal" treatment, the insiders decide by consensus. Our 2-by-2 design also controls for communication effects. In our data, communication makes vertical firms more ethical; voice appears to mitigate "responsibility-alleviation" in that subordinates with voice feel responsible for what their firms do. Vertical firms are then more ethical than the horizontal firms for which our bargaining data reveal a dynamic form of responsibility-alleviation and our chat data indicate a strong "insider-outsider" effect.

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File URL: http://pareto.uab.es/wp/2007/68207.pdf
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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 682.07.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:682.07
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