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Is work climate important for RRI training? Cross sectional study of perceptions of ethical climate and pressures in different faculties at the University of Split, Croatia

Mario Malički, Vedran Katavić, Domagoj Marković, Matko Marušić, Ana Marušić

University of Split School of Medicine

Biomedicine 23% Europeans state to have been directly affected by a medical error personally or in the family 21-93% of registered trials are never published 40-62% of primary outcomes change from registration to publication

4.7% students cheat during medical schools

Science 7.8 million scientists (1 ‰ population) 1.478 billion dollars for research 1.7% fabricated or falsified data 30% know someone who fabricated or falsified data 4% of all publications have errata, in 24% of those results or conclusions end up different 23-55% reported own or others authorship misuse

Ethical Climate the shared perceptions of what is ethically correct behavior and how ethical issues should be handled (Victor and Cullen 1987) Assumptions:

• individual characteristics are insufficient to explain determinants of individual’s ethical decisions in an organization • formal and informal socialization enables individuals to perceive the acceptable behavior within an organization, and act according to it

Ethical Climate Questionnaire Levels of ethical analysis Levels of ethical criteria







Self - interest

Organizational interest



Team interest

Stakeholder orientation

Personal morality

Organizational rules and procedures

Laws and professional codes

based on Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development

Ethical Climate Meta-analysis and review (Martin & Cullen, 2006., Simha & Cullen 2012.)

• All 9 climate types were identified

Significant correlations were found between the type of climate and: • organizational commitment • job satisfaction • psychological well being

• misconduct

Study aim: to assess differences in ethical climate between faculties of a single university • Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture the Efficiency response rate: 54% (132/246)

• Faculty of Philosophy response rate: 46% (73/159)

• School of Medicine response rate: 47% (91/192)

Characteristic (n, %)

Engineering (n=132)

Philosophy (n=73)

Medicine (n=91)


94 (73)

15 (20)

35 (40)


35 (27)

58 (80)

53 (60)

37 (30-49)

38 (32-46)

49 (35-56)


89 (70)

49 (71)

62 (72)


38 (30)

20 (29)

24 (28)

Years of service

8 (3-20)

5 (4-7)

10 (5-19)


26 (20)

23 (30)

28 (31)


105 (80)

50 (70)

62 (69)


Age (Md; IQR) Position

Faculty Council

Main results Cronbach’s 

Climate Type

Engineering (n=132)


Laws and professional codes

Philosophy (n=73)



Medicine (n=91)

Climate type score (Md; CI) 12.985 (12.3 – 13.7)

Laws and professional codes

13.431 (12.4- 14.4)

Self – interest

13.079 (12.3 – 13.8)

Laws and professional codes

12.011 (11.2 – 12.8)


Results (cont.) Gender differences were observed (P=0.0378, P=0.0103, resp.): > Self-interest

> Laws and codes

Also, years of service correlated with higher perception of self-interest climate type. School of Medicine – faculty council members perceived higher levels of self-interest type Faculty of Philosophy perceived lower levels of stakeholder orientation climate type

Conclusion • Gender and years of service are associated with perception of more egoistic climate types. • Possible differences between ruling bodies (faculty council) and employee perceptions add to the existing evidence that specific actions of individuals moderate perceptions of ethical climate within an institution.

• When planning RRI educational interventions, it is important to keep in mind the environment in which these interventions are delivered.

Thank You! Contact details: Department of Research in Biomedicine and Health University of Split, School of Medicine Šoltanska 2, 21000 Split, Croatia tel. +385 (0)21 557 – 820 fax. +385 (0)21 557 – 820 e-mail:

Is work climate important for RRI training  

Cross sectional study of perceptions of ethical climate and pressures in different faculties at the University of Split, Croatia

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