Organizational culture (including ethical culture) is argued to be greatly influenced by the founder or leader of the organization. However, little is known about how a founder takes procedural steps to transmit his or her personal ethical values to the whole organization. Based on an in-depth case study of Alibaba, a Chinese internet-based company, this research develops a process model to uncover the dynamics of developing an ethical organizational culture. The model articulates four mechanisms in four processes adopted by both the leaders and followers. The analysis shows that the development of an ethical culture is nonlinear and interactional, and that the founder and subordinates play different roles in the various phases of the development of an ethical culture.
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- ethical culture
- ethical leadership
- organizational culture
- process model