JMCQ study: Ethical misconduct by nonprofits harms attitudes, donations
Nonprofit organizations who commit ethical misconduct suffer significant decreases in positive attitudes and donation intentions among stakeholders, according to a study published by Media School faculty, graduate students and an alumna.
“Do Ethics Matter? Investigating Donor Responses to Primary and Tertiary Ethical Violations,” by assistant professor Nicholas Browning; associate professor Sung-Un Yang; Young Eun Park, PhD’18; doctoral student Ejae Lee; and doctoral candidate Taeyoung Kim, appears in the latest issue of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.
The study examines how frequently committed ethical misconduct regarding values closely aligned to an organizational mission affect stakeholders’ pro-organizational responses to an offending nonprofit. In addition to finding a significant decrease in positive attitudes and donations, the study found a significant increase in stakeholders’ negative attitudes toward the organization and willingness to assign the organization responsibility for unethical behavior.