Ethical climate and job attitude in fashion retail employees' turnover intention, and perceived organizational sustainability performance: A cross-sectional study

Stacy Hyun Nam Lee, Jung Ha-Brookshire

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between the fashion retail industry's working environment and the high rate of employee turnover has been highlighted as one of the key concerns for negative organizational performance in both the short and long term. This relationship creates a need to investigate the ethical climate within fashion retail businesses, employees' attitudes toward their jobs, and employees' turnover intention, as these factors can influence organizations' performance including their likelihood of achieving the triple bottom lines of sustainability. Based on social exchange and human and social capital theories, this study investigated how employees' ethical climate and turnover intention are affected by both individual- and organizational-level factors, and their impact on the triple bottom lines of organizational sustainability performance. This study empirically tested a structural model based on the survey responses from 278 U.S. fashion retail employees. The findings show that an ethical climate can enhance employees' job attitude as well as all three dimensions of organizational sustainability performance-financial, social, and environmental. Creating an ethical climate in an organization can decrease employees' turnover intention, but also employees' attitudes towards their jobs lowers their turnover intention. The study's findings reveal that not only can employees' attitudes toward their jobs impact organizational sustainability performance, but creating an ethical working environment is another important way to improve organizational sustainability performance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number465
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2017


  • Ethical climate
  • Job attitude
  • Organizational sustainability performance
  • Retail industry
  • Turnover intention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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