The Impact of Ethical Orientation of HRM on Ethical Decision-Making: Research Gaps towards a Conceptual Model


  • A De Silva, Viruli PhD Candidate, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura Sri Lanka
  • AS Dr. Gamage Senior Lecturer, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.


The objective of this article is to identify research gaps in Ethical Decision-Making (EDM), and develop a conceptual model, to investigate the impact of Ethical Orientation of HRM (EOHRM) on EDM in organizations.  EOHRM is a new concept in HRM literature. It is ‘the extent to which HRM functions have been directed to create, enhance and maintain ethicality within employees, to generate an ethical work force in the organization’. Unethical behavior of employees in organizations, mainly due to unethical decision-making, has been a burning global issue for many decades.  Unethical decision is a decision that is either illegal or morally unacceptable to the society. The influence of HRM functions on employee behavior at work had received much scholarly attention over the past several years. Despite its significance in contributing towards the organizational performance, theoretical or empirical researches have not been conducted on the impact of EOHRM on EDM in organizations. The authors systematically reviewed existent literature on HRM practices, EDM, ethical/unethical behavior of employees etc., published in refereed journals over the past 30 years, edited book chapters and text books by prominent authors on the above subjects, using the archival method. Authors identified six research gaps in EDM in an organization. An integrated conceptual model was developed to investigate the impact of EOHRM on EDM, with the interaction influences of three variables: ‘Ethical Attitude’, Ethical Competence’ and ‘Personal Character’ of employee on this relationship. The originality and unique feature of this EDM model is that, it has been developed based on a novel concept in HRM literature, labeled EOHRM. Hence, this article has an original value and significant utility for future research.

Keywords: Ethical Orientation of HRM, Ethical Decision-Making, Research Gaps, Conceptual Model