Ethics in competency models: A framework towards developing ethical behaviour in organisations

Debolina Dutta*, Sushanta Kumar Mishra, Pawan Budhwar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Competency models describe desired behaviours, skills, and attributes to facilitate organisational goals' achievement. The primary focus of a competency model is to align individual behaviours to organisationally expected behaviours. Given that employees’ ethical behaviour has become the sine qua non for organisations, it is surprising to see the absence of ethical competency in organisations’ competency models. Based on two separate studies with the heads of HR in Indian and South-East Asian organisations, the present study identified three core reasons for the absence of ethics in competency models (i.e., ideation, conceptualisation, and implementation challenges). Also, the study proposes a framework for fostering ethical behaviour amongst employees. Implications of the research for theory and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-227
JournalIIMB Management Review
Issue number3
Early online date22 Oct 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


  • Competency models
  • Ethical behaviour
  • Ethical competence
  • HR framework


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