Moral sensitivity in business: A revised measure

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In order to manage ethical challenges in organizations and the workplace, moral sensitivity (MS)—the ability to identify and ascribe importance to moral issues when they arise in the workplace—is seen as the key prerequisite by researchers and professionals. However, despite the importance of MS, satisfactory reliable and valid measures to assess this competence are to date lacking. The present research tests the psychometric qualities of a revised MS measure for the business domain (R-MSB) that is designed to assess individual differences in moral and business-related value sensitivity. We present three different analyses with two heterogeneous samples of Swiss and German employees (total N = 1168). The first two studies provide good evidence of the measures’ factorial structure, its construct, and criteria-related validity. The third study examines how affective and empathic responses are associated with MS and business sensitivity (BS). The results support the view that empathic responsiveness enhances MS. The instrument’s theoretical and practical strengths, limitations, and avenues for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)10277-10291
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 04.2023
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Ethical sensitivity, Moral awareness, Moral competences, Moral intelligence, Moral sensitivity
  • Management studies