Singhapakdi, A., et al. (1996). The perceived role of ethics and social responsibility: A scale development. Journal of Business Ethics 15(11):1131–40.
Comments: The 13-item Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility (PRESOR) scale is based on the work by Kraft and Junch’s (1992) “organizational effectiveness menu.” The PRESOR scale consists of general statements about the importance of ethics and social responsibility to an organization’s overall effectiveness. Also included in the scale are statements reflecting the importance of ethics and social responsibility relative to other “traditional” measures of organizational effectiveness including output quality, profitability, competitiveness, and survival. Various versions of the PRESOR scale have been adapted for studies in the United States as well as other countries (see the following partial list of references).
Sample: The data were collected by self-administered questionnaires. The respondents were 153 students from senior and master’s level evening classes from three U.S. business schools, one from the Midwest, one from the mid-Atlantic region, and one from the south.
Validity: The original PRESOR Scale was submitted to a panel of judges including graduate students in marketing and several marketing professors in order to assess its content validity. The panel of experts checked the scale items for ambiguity, clarity, triviality, and sensible construction, as well as to make sure that the items reflected the construct of interest. The experts agreed that the scale items of PRESOR adequately represented the construct, the perceived role of ethics and social responsibility in organizational effectiveness. An attempt was also made to assess the face validity of PRESOR. This was carried out by asking the expert judges what they thought PRESOR was measuring. The responses included ethics, values, importance of ethics for organization, and social responsibility. Thus, the scale items seem to reflect the construct PRESOR, providing evidence of face validity.
Factor Analysis: The dimensionality of the PRESOR scale was assessed by means of principal components exploratory factor analysis (using varimax rotation). According to the results, the scale consists of three dimensions: social responsibility, long-term gains, and short-term gains.
Reliability: Coefficient alpha was used to assess scale reliability. Reliability analysis for each subscale identified though exploratory factor analysis was performed. Reliabilities ranged from 0.71 for social responsibility and profitability to
0.57 for long term gain. The third subscale, short-term gains, had a coefficient alpha of 0.64. These reliabilities are acceptable since, as Nunnally (1978) suggested, an alpha of 0.5 or 0.6 is sufficient at early stages of research.
Definitions of Factors: The first factor, social responsibility and profitability, has four items which describe the importance of ethics and social responsibility in profitability and organizational competiveness. An individual who is high on this factor will tend to believe that ethics and social responsibility will play a very important role in improving profitability and organizational competitiveness. The second factor, long-term gains, consists of six items. Items in this factor measure the importance of ethics and social responsibility in relation to long-term gains such as profitability as well as overall effectiveness of the firm and employee morale. An individual who scores high on this factor will tend to believe that ethics and social responsibility are important for the long-term success of the firm. The third factor, short-term gains, consists of three items, which seem to measure the role of ethics and social responsibility in relation to the efficiency of the firm, stockholders’ happiness and making profits by any means. An individual who scores high on this factor tends to believe that ethics and social responsibility are also important in achieving short-term gains.
Data Analysis: Although the correlation analyses generally supported the predictive validity of the PRESOR, multiple regression analysis was performed to further analyze the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. The results from both correlation and multiple regression analyses support the predictive validity of the scale. The independent variables used were socially responsible attitude (Hunt, Kiecker, and Chonko 1990), and ethical ideologies (idealism and relativism, Forsyth 1980). All three variables were found to be significant predictors of at least one dimension of PRESOR, thus providing support for the predictive validity of the scale.
Forsyth, D. R. (1980). A taxonomy of ethical ideologies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39:175–84.
Hunt, S. D., Kiecker, P. L., and Chonko, L. B. (1990). Social responsibility and personal success: A research note, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 18:239–44.
Singhapakdi, A., et al. (2001). How important are ethics and social responsibility? A multinational study of marketing professionals. European Journal of Marketing 35(1/2):133–52.
Vitell, S. J., Ramos, E., and Nishihara, C. M. (2010). The role of ethics and social responsibility in organizational success: A Spanish perspective. Journal of Business Ethics 91(4):467–83.
Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility Scale
Factor 1: Social Responsibility and Profitability
1. Social responsibility and profitability can be compatible.
2. To remain competitive in a global environment, business firms will have to disregard ethics and social responsibility.*
3. Good Ethics is often good business.
4. If survival of business enterprise is at stake, then ethics and social responsibility must be ignored.*
Factor 2: Long-Term Gains
1. Being ethical and socially responsible is the most important thing a firm can do.
2. A firm’s first priority should be employee morale.
3. The overall effectiveness of a business can be determined to a great extent by the degree to which it is ethical and socially responsible.
4. The ethics and social responsibility of a firm are essential to its long-term profitability.
5. Business has a social responsibility beyond making a profit.
6. Business ethics and social responsibility are critical to the survival of a business enterprise.
Factor 3: Short-Term Gains
1. If the stockholders are unhappy, nothing else matters.
2. The most important concern for a firm is making a profit, even if it means bending or breaking the rules.
3. Efficiency is much more important to a firm than whether or not the firm is seen as ethical or socially responsible.
Scoring: 9-point disagree-agree scale, Disagree = 1, Agree = 9. *Reverse scored item.