The Role of the Different Types of Ethical Issues Recognised by Frontline Employees on Their Ethical Strategies

dc.contributor.advisor Ngo, Liem en_US Paramita, Widya en_US 2022-03-15T08:44:03Z 2022-03-15T08:44:03Z 2021 en_US
dc.description.abstract Ethical issues commonly occur within the frontline job context. Failure to handle ethical issues properly may incur damage to company reputation, making the management of frontline employees’ (FLEs) ethical strategies critical. Current literature suggests that ethical strategy is influenced by recognition of ethical issues, a subjective interpretive process that leads individuals to recognise distinct types of ethical issues. Unexpectedly, the existing theoretical frameworks do not account for variations in individuals' recognition of ethical issue types. The absence of such a theoretical framework has precluded previous studies investigating the implications of different ethical issue types on individual ethical decision-making. Building upon social cognition theory and the everyday problem-solving framework, this thesis proposes a theoretical framework that considers individual variations in ethical issue recognition and validates it across four sequential studies using Australian retail FLEs as the sample. Studies 1 and 2 employ a qualitative approach to explore the types of ethical issues being recognised by FLEs (Study 1) and FLEs’ ethical strategy types (Study 2). Studies 1 and 2 produce a taxonomy of ethical issues and a taxonomy of FLE ethical strategies, respectively. Study 3 uses a quantitative survey method to examine the implications of the different ethical issue types recognised by FLEs for ethical strategy, individual (i.e., customer-orientation, ethical ideology, organisational identification and moral identity) and contextual (i.e., ethical work climate, formal ethics system, and supervisor’s ethical leadership) factors, as well as FLE-perceived company reputation. The findings of Study 3 show that each type of ethical issue recognised by FLEs leads to different FLE ethical strategy types. In addition, each ethical issue type is related to different individual and contextual factors. Study 3 also reveals that FLEs’ ethical strategy types do not influence FLE-perceived company reputation. In contrast, using an experimental design, Study 4 demonstrates that FLEs’ ethical strategy types do affect consumer-perceived company reputation. Theoretically, this thesis contributes by establishing a framework accounting for the distinct types of ethical issues recognised by FLEs and the implications for their ethical decision-making process. From a practical perspective, this thesis provides guidelines for companies to manage FLEs’ ethical strategies so as to improve company reputation. en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher UNSW, Sydney en_US
dc.rights CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject.other Ethical Issue Recognition en_US
dc.subject.other Types of Ethical Issues en_US
dc.subject.other Types of Ethical Strategies en_US
dc.subject.other Frontline Employee en_US
dc.subject.other Ethical Decision Making en_US
dc.title The Role of the Different Types of Ethical Issues Recognised by Frontline Employees on Their Ethical Strategies en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dcterms.accessRights open access
dcterms.rightsHolder Paramita, Widya
dspace.entity.type Publication en_US
unsw.accessRights.uri 2023-05-26 en_US
unsw.description.embargoNote Embargoed until 2023-05-26
unsw.relation.faculty Business
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Paramita, Widya, Business, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Ngo, Liem, Marketing, Australian School of Business, UNSW Di Mascio, Rita; Not available en_US
unsw.thesis.degreetype PhD Doctorate en_US
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