Tuesday, August 25, 2009

AOM Conference

While in Chicago I attended several symposiums, paper sessions and discussions concerning research and practice in organizations. Some of the sessions are not worth talking about because they were too uninteresting to even sit through (although I did).
Moral Self and Spiritual Attributes:

This session was extremely interesting because it focused on two major topics in today’s business world. First, the authors discussed ethical leadership and values orientated workers. With all of the current scandals taking place throughout our nation I found this extremely relevant. Denise Daniels from Seattle Pacific University presented empirical research examining why some people seem to find ethical tension in many situations while others don’t. She modified the criteria from Richard Niebuhr’s “Christ and Culture” to examine how people viewed God in the real world. Her results illustrated that moral identity moderates the relationship between moral self and ethical sensitivity. So, if you view that the world is good and you experience good around you will be less sensitive to ethical issues than if you view the world as good but experience lots of ethical issues.

James Westerman of Appalachian State investigated if the type of God you believe in impacts the workplace. You could have a view that God is engaging and supporting or God is judging. The results illustrated that if you view God as engaging and supporting than you were more conscientious with your work and performed better than if you viewed God as judging. Further results illustrated that if you viewed God as benevolent you would have a low external locus of control and a view of an authoritarian God elicited the most unethical behavior among all views of God. I thought this was really interesting because we as Americans are always trying to be so politically correct and separate work from religion. This research empirically illustrates that we can’t separate the two and more importantly our views of God affects our work and our employees work.

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