Millennials’ Approaches to Ethical Decision Making: A Survey of Young Public Relations Agency Employees

Publication Date: 2011 Spring

Source: SO03 Public Relations Journal
Product Code: 6D-050202
Organization/Author/Firm: Patricia A. Curtin, Ph.D., Tiffany Gallicano, Ph.D., and Kelli Matthews, M.A.
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This study reports data from a nationwide survey of the Millennial Generation of public relations agency employees examining their approach to ethical decision making and their relationships with their agency employers. The survey employed Hon and Grunig’s (1999) scales to measure relationship outcomes: control mutuality, trust, commitment, and satisfaction. The results of the organization-employee measures were reported in previous research, and they are only used here to illuminate the relationship between ethics and the organization-employee relationship. In addition, the survey explored the usefulness of Bowen’s (2005) practical model for ethical decision making from the perspectives of Millennial agency practitioners. Our findings demonstrate that Millennials value transparency and clear ethical rules and expectations, experiencing much better relations with those agencies that both talk the talk and walk the walk in terms of social responsibility.