Date of Conferral







David Bouvin


The presence of unethical behavior continues to plague the global business community, however, and its impact in the finance industry is widely thought to be having an even more devastating impact than ever before. Scholarly literature provides little understanding of what drives ethical decision making, or the processes involved and a little evidence that ethical standards have been developed as part of leadership decision making training in finance. The purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore the drivers and processes in the development of training that supports ethical choices that leaders make in their decision-making role within the finance industry, as well as to understand what effects those decisions have on followers and on organizational culture. The research question examined the processes and training involved in ethical decision making in the field of finance. Rawls' justice as fairness theory provided the theoretical framework. The data were collected interviewing purposefully selected 7 directors and managers in the financial industry. The data were analyzed using a constant comparative approach and the development of vignettes based on Stake. The results showed that leaders were not able to make sound ethical decisions and the need for ethical standards. When these standards and values are compromised, leadership behaviors can affect organizational culture, as they tend to decrease commitment, performance and motivation of employees, while increasing absenteeism and turnover, thus adversely affecting company operations and incurring costs. The study results can have implications for social change through developing higher standards in ethics and adequate morale training.