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Department of Finance Prof. Dr. Carmen Tanner

Corporate Culture and Leadership

The prevalence of unethical conduct at work is not solely tied to individual factors but also hinges on organizational culture. This culture reflects whether a company prioritizes rule-based compliance or values-driven integrity in its management strategies. We use the term "corporate ethical culture" to encapsulate the structures, norms, values, and behaviors visible within businesses, shaped by role models, goal-setting, and subtle contextual cues influencing ethical or unethical behavior. Our primary research focus involves measuring organizational cultures and understanding how it shapes (un)ethical behavior.

Building upon prior research, we’ve devised a German questionnaire—the Corporate Ethical Culture Scale—to gauge the dimensions of organizational culture expected to promote ethical behavior (Stimmler & Tanner, 2019; Tanner, Gangl & Witt, 2019).

We investigate the essence of ethical leadership and its impact on organizational success. Our premise is that leaders’ values hold significance for organizations and followers only when consistently demonstrated through actions. To address this, we are developing the Ethical Leadership Behavior Scale (ELBS), rooted in tangible displays of ethical values like fairness, respect, and care across diverse situations. Our research affirms that leaders’ ethical conduct significantly enhances employee work attitudes and outcomes (Tanner, Brügger, Van Schie & Lebherz, 2010). See also Konferenz.