Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

D. Robley Wood Jr.


The corporate character value structure consists of ethical values applied in a business setting arranged in a two dimensional matrix presented here as the Corporate Character Ethical Value Matrix, or CC-EVM. The two matrix dimensions are: behavior-types defined as either (1)custodial or (2)proactive; and behavior targets (1)task, (2)consideration-specific, directed toward a specific relationship, or (3)consideration-general, directed at generalized relationships or the organization. The current research developed the matrix to define and classify the six values presented by The Character Counts Coalition’s (1993) as core “pillars” of character: trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, caring, fairness and citizenship. The theoretical background for this matrix was built from the organizational trust and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) literatures, and the business ethics literature.

The study tested the uniqueness of these six constructs using items developed from established measures that were combined as one instrument with items developed based on Character Counts Coalition statements. Factor analysis of student (n=324) responses explored the existence of theorized dimensions underlying the established trust and OCB measures. Item reduction eliminated items failing to discriminate between factors, and five factors emerged. The first factor contained items from McAlister's (1995) cognitive-based trust measure and Van Dyne, Graham, and Dienesch’s (1994) obedience measure. The second and third factors contained items from Van Dyne et al.’s advocacy and loyalty measures respectively. The fourth and fifth factors expressed concern for friends and country, and contained items developed from the Character Counts Coalition. Reliable (alpha >.80) scales from the factor items allowed further testing for inferences about the scales validity using personality and demographic measures.

Findings show support for the behavior-targets dimension of the CC-EVM. The first factor corresponded to the task target. The advocacy and loyalty measures corresponded to the consideration-specific and consideration-general targets. The friends and country scales failed to exhibit predicted relationships. The five measures were regressed against measures provided by an insurance agency industry sample (n=112) of organizational commitment and shared ethical values. The strongest relationship emerged between consideration-general (loyalty) and organizational commitment. No support emerged for the behavior-types dimension. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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