How Do Healthcare Employees Rate the Ethics of Their Organization? an Analysis Based on VA IntegratedEthics® Staff Survey Data

By Cohen, Jennifer H.; Foglia, Mary Beth et al. | Journal of Healthcare Management, May/June 2015 | Go to article overview

How Do Healthcare Employees Rate the Ethics of Their Organization? an Analysis Based on VA IntegratedEthics® Staff Survey Data


Cohen, Jennifer H., Foglia, Mary Beth, Kwong, Katherine, Pearlman, Robert, Fox, Ellen, Biggs, Daniel E., Journal of Healthcare Management


Jennifer H. Cohen, PhD, MPH, evaluation manager, National Center for Ethics in Elealth Care (NCEHC), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, D.C., and affiliate faculty, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington (UW), Seattle; Mary Beth Foglia, RN, PhD, MA, health care ethicist, NCEFIC, VA, and affiliate facult}', Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine, UW; Katherine Kwong, MPH, formerly program analyst, NCEHC, VA; Robert Pearlman, MD, MPH, chief ethics evaluation service, NCEHC, and professor, Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, UW; and Ellen Fox, MD, formerly executive director, NCEHC, VA.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Healthcare organizations with an ethical culture experience higher levels of employee productivity, less staff turnover, better levels of patient safety, resource and cost savings, and higher levels of patient satisfaction. Employees' perceptions of the ethics of their organization are considered a good indicator of the ethics culture.

How employees rate the ethics of their organization is not well understood. Previous research has identified a number of attributes that are salient to employees' perceptions in this area. However, little is known about how employees synthesize their perceptions of these attributes to rate the ethics of their organization. Without this knowledge, managers have little specific information to act on to improve practices that would in turn improve employees' perceptions of their organization's ethics.

For this study, we used data from Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) 2014 IntegratedEthics® Staff Survey administered to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) staff. We used multivariate regression analyses to investigate how VHA employees weigh their perceptions of eight attributes of an ethical organization to inform an overall rating of the ethics of their organization. We found that employee perceptions of fairness, clarity of expectations, accountability, and leadership's prioritization of ethics had the strongest associations with the overall rating. In addition, employees disproportionately weighed their positive perceptions in determining their overall rating. Therefore, a strategy to improve employees' perceptions of these attributes could potentially have the greatest marginal return on investment with respect to improving employees' perceptions of the ethics of an organization.

BACKGROUND

Organizations with an ethical culture experience higher levels of employee productivity (Patterson, Warr, & West, 2004), less staff turnover (Sim ha & Cullen, 2012), better levels of employee and patient safety (Hofmann & Mark, 2006), resource and cost savings (Guerci, Radaelli, Siletti, Cirella, & Shani, 2015), and higher levels of patient satisfaction (Tzeng, Ketefian, & Redman, 2002)-outcomes that are all important to the provision of highquality healthcare. An organization with an ethical culture is described as one in which employees appreciate the importance of ethics; recognize and freely discuss ethical concerns; seek guidance about ethical concerns; work to address ethics issues on a systems level; view ethics as an important component of the organization; understand what ethical practices are expected of them; feel empowered to behave ethically; and view organizational decisions as ethical (Fox, Crigger, Bottrell, & Bauck, 2007). Employees' perceptions of the ethics of their organization are considered a good indicator of the ethics culture (Foglia, Cohen, Pearlman, Bottrell, & Fox, 2013). When employees perceive that their organization is ethical, they identify more closely with their organization (Verbos, Gerard, Forshey, Harding, & Miller, 2007), are prouder of and more committed to their organization (Brammer, Millington, & Rayton, 2007; Collier & Esteban, 2007; Peterson, 2004; Saks, 2006), and are more satisfied with their jobs (Brammer et ah, 2007; Schwepker, 2001; Ulrich et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

How Do Healthcare Employees Rate the Ethics of Their Organization? an Analysis Based on VA IntegratedEthics® Staff Survey Data
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.