Nebojša Majstorović, Tamara Jovanović, Bojana Đajić

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The aim of the research was to determine the importance of organizational ethical climate and the levels of corruption for determining the methods of solving the four ethical dilemmas typical of the working environment – “truth versus loyalty”, “individual vs. community”, “short-term versus long-term” and “justice vs. mercy” (Kidder, 1995). On an ad hoc sample of 313 employees from different organizations in the Republic of Serbia, an online questionnaire was applied for data collecting on the perception of the organizational ethical climate, the tendency towards corruptive rationalizations as factors in choosing alternatives in solving ethical dilemmas at work. The findings indicate the importance of the perception of the egoistic ethical climate and the climate of social responsibility for the willingness of employees to be merciful when solving the dilemma “justice vs. mercy.” It was found that the egoistic ethical climate probably generates the acceptance of corruptive rationalizations that predict the acceptance of “mercy” towards those who steal the company’s assets. On the other hand, the climate of social responsibility influences the preference of employees for mercy for those who break the rules, most likely because employees develop the belief that well-being is important for both the company’s clients and colleagues, even when they violate organizational rules. It was concluded that the perception of the organizational ethical climate indirectly influences the manner of solving ethical dilemmas at work. This is probably done by generating personal beliefs in employees, which then influences the preference for solving the ethical dilemma with which these beliefs are in accordance.


work ethics, ethical dilemmas, corruptive rationalization, ethical climate.

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