Context Influences

on Workplace Ethics and Justice

Journal of Business Ethics

Journal of Business Ethics

Special Issue – Call for Papers

Guest Editors:

Marion Fortin, CRM, University of Toulouse 1 Capitole, France

Chris M. Bell, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada

Jonathan R. Crawshaw, Aston Business School, Aston University, UK

Russell Cropanzano, Leeds School of Business, Colorado State University, USA

Thierry Nadisic, EMLYON Business School, France


Widespread reports of corruption in business and government, and the current backdrop of global economic crisis, have made salient issues of fairness, justice, ethics and morality at work. Within this context, the last few years has seen a tremendous growth in research exploring the intersection of theoretical and empirical work on organizational justice and behavioral ethics. Until recently these disciplines had developed largely independently of each other – organizational justice tending to focus on exploring how individuals respond when treated fairly and unfairly, as well as the types of activities that constitute fair treatment, and behavioral ethics on how people think and act when faced with ethical choices. However, more recent research has highlighted the potential for new insights into both the content and process of individuals’ ethical, moral and fairness judgments and behaviors at work that is presented by the effective integration of these fields (Cropanzano and Stein, 2009).

Recent contributions have provided important connections between, for example, moral norms in organizations, ethical reasoning, dysfunctional work behaviors, and ethical leadership and our understanding of individual, organizational and societal concerns regarding unfairness. For example, Skitka’s research on moral convictions shows that holding strong moral beliefs, or so-called “moral mandates”, can protect one from blind obedience to unfair rules, but can also motivate several types of transgressions (e.g., Skitka, 2010, Skitka & Bauman, 2008). Trevino and Weaver (2009), on the other hand, have shown that employees’ perceptions of fairness in the organization are likely to lead to their greater compliance with the organization’s ethics program and to report others’ misconduct. Such studies have immediate implications for the management of moral diversity in organizational contexts, but beyond the organizational context may also help us to better understand social and political conflicts.

This Special Issue seeks to add to this field of enquiry at the intersection of organizational justice and behavioral ethics by focusing specifically on important, but so far overlooked contextual influences on behavioral ethics and justice at work. That is, we wish to invite submissions that are exploring research topics such as the following:

  • How cultural, organisational and other differences in values and norms of behavior may explain moral decisions and reactions to such decisions
  • The influence of social domains on behavior and perceptions of ethicality, such as negotiation and lying
  • Leaders’ use of ethics and fairness (both rhetorically and substantially) to build their legitimacy in and outside of their organizations
  • Ethical challenges within international business and globalization – including international and diverse employees, management of supply chains etc.
  • The impact of workgroup composition and group fairness norms on ethical behavior within the group and amongst groups
  • The priming effect of different situational cues for moral identities and self-regulation
  • The impact of different incentive systems on pro-social behaviors in organizations and in states
  • The impact of formal versus informal elements of an organisation’s ethical infrastructure on justice dynamics and behavior

While the above list is not meant to be exhaustive, the key requirement is that papers have a primary focus on contextual effects on behavioral ethics and/or organizational justice. Research that combines the two would, of course, make for the best fit. We are especially encouraging submissions based on well-designed empirical investigations of these issues, but we will also consider strong conceptual and theoretical contributions. Contributions are expected to stipulate both theoretical and practical/policy implications and to stimulate the future debate and research agenda around context influences on workplace ethics and justice.

The deadline for full paper submissions is the 1st of December 2013.

Guidelines for Submissions

  • Submission will be done via the Journal of Business Ethics website in Editorial Manager:
  • Papers submitted should be no more than 10 000 words long, should be accompanied by a separate cover sheet, and – to be eligible for review — must follow the Journal of Business Ethics guidelines.
  • The call is open and competitive.
  • Papers will be double-blind peer reviewed and acceptance decisions will be based on peer review and JoBE standards.
  • Submitted papers must be based on original material not under consideration by any other journal or outlet.

Please address any questions you may have to marionfortin[at]


Cropanzano, R. and Stein, J. H. (2009). “Organizational Justice and Behavioral Ethics.” Business Ethics Quarterly 19(2), 193-233.

Skitka, L. J. (2010). “The psychology of moral conviction.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass 4(4), 267-281.

Skitka, L. J. and Bauman, C.W. (2008). “Moral conviction and political engagement.” Political Psychology 29(1), 29-54.

Treviño, L. K. and Weaver, G.R. (2009). “Organizational Justice and Ethics Program “Follow-Through”.” Business Ethics Quarterly 11(4), 651-671.