Exploring the relationships between organizational virtuousness and performance

By: Kim S. Cameron, David Bright, Arran Caza

Cameron, K.S., Bright, D., & Caza, A. (2004). Exploring the relationships between organizational virtuousness and performance. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(6), 766-790.


The importance of virtuousness in organizations has recently been acknowledged in the organizational sciences, but research remains scarce. This article defines virtuousness and connects it to scholarly literature in organizational science. An empirical study is described in which the relationships between virtuousness and performance in 18 organizations are empirically examined. Significant relationships between virtuousness and both perceived and objective measures of organizational performance were found. The findings are explained in terms of the two major functions played by virtuousness in organizations: an amplifying function that creates self-reinforcing positive spirals, and a buffering function that strengthens and protects organizations from traumas such as downsizing.