Cross-sector organisational engagement with ethics : a comparison between private sector companies and public sector entities of Sweden
Svensson, Göran, Wood, Greg and Callaghan, Michael 2009, Cross-sector organisational engagement with ethics : a comparison between private sector companies and public sector entities of Sweden, Corporate governance, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 283-297.
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Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to describe and compare similarities as well as differences in the organizational engagement with ethics between private sector companies and public sector entities.
Design/methodology/approach – A survey was conducted in order to examine the organizational engagement with ethics in the largest private sector companies and the largest public sector entities in Sweden. Two adapted questionnaires were developed for each sector. The outcome of this research procedure is reported in this paper.
Findings – There are both minor and major differences between the private sector and public sectors, where the private sector companies overall tend to be more engaged with ethics than the public sector entities in areas such as: ethical bodies, ethical tools, internal and external ethical usage, and ethical support measures and ethical performance measures.
Research limitations/implications – This paper makes a contribution to theory as it outlines findings for the benefit of other researchers working in private and/or public sectors in the field. A suggestion for further research is to examine the organizational engagement with ethics in other countries/cultures that differ from the ones in this research effort performed in the private and public sectors of Sweden. Practical implications – The research may be of managerial interest as it provides a grounded framework of areas to be considered in the examination of organizational engagement with ethics in both private sector companies and public sector entities. It may be used as a benchmark by either sector.
Originality/value – It reports a research effort to develop and describe a cross-sector comparison of the organizational engagement with ethics between private sector companies and public sector entities of Sweden. A framework is also introduced and illustrated. It also makes a contribution to theory and practice in the field as it is based upon a dual sample that provides insight into cross-sector organizational engagement with ethics.
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