The study of behavioral ethics within organizations: A special issue introduction

Marie S. Mitchell, Scott J. Reynolds, Linda K. Treviño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ethics has emerged as one of the most critical issues facing organizations. Given its importance, an extensive literature has evolved to understand the causes and consequences of (un)ethical decision making and behaviors in organizations. To date, much of this research has relied on research methods (e.g., experiments) that emphasize internal validity and control over external validity and generalizability. Although very informative, such studies frequently utilize samples that are not representative of working adults and their designs often fail to capture the contextual complexity that defines the day-to-day realities of organizational life. In this light, this special issue of Personnel Psychology encouraged scholars to investigate ethics within organizations and to offer rich theoretical explanations for why ethical failures and successes occur. The articles in this special issue address this important research agenda and make significant contributions to our understanding of ethics in organizations. Our introduction synthesizes these works, provides an overview of issues facing the broader behavioral ethics literature, and discusses areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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