Original Research

A confirmatory factor analytic study of an ethical climate measure in Zimbabwe

Nelson Gwamanda, Bright Mahembe
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 21 | a2184 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v21i0.2184 | © 2023 Nelson Gwamanda, Bright Mahembe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 November 2022 | Published: 30 May 2023

About the author(s)

Nelson Gwamanda, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Bright Mahembe, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: A psychometrically sound ethical climate instrument helps in establishing the appropriate ethical values important for positive organisational outcomes.

Research purpose: The primary goal of the present study was to test the psychometric properties of the ethical climate questionnaire on a Zimbabwean sample.

Motivation for the study: The ethical climate questionnaire (ECQ) is one of the questionnaires used to measure ethical climate. There is a need to assess the reliability and construct validity of the ECQ on a Zimbabwean sample owing to the lack of studies on its psychometric properties in this setting.

Research design, approach and method: A quantitative design was adopted in this study. A non-probability sample consisting of 304 participants from selected security organisations was studied. The ECQ was used to measure ethical climate and its reliability was determined by calculating Cronbach alpha coefficients for each of the survey sub-scales. Construct validity was assessed through confirmatory factor analyses (CFA).

Main findings: The ECQ demonstrated a reasonable model fit. Moderately high reliability coefficients were recorded on all the subscales of the ECQ with the caring subscale having a Cronbach alpha of 0.79, the law and code subscale, 0.86, rules, 0.85, 0.86 for instrumental and the independence subscale having 0.87.

Practical implications: The ECQ has demonstrated acceptable reliability coefficients and the subscales are uni-dimensional. Although most of the psychometric properties of the ECQ are acceptable including the confirmatory factor analysis of the ECQ, the underlying theoretical structure might have to be re-examined for its alignment with the values in the Zimbabwean context.

Contribution/value-add: The study promotes the use of reliable and valid instruments in Zimbabwe by confirming the psychometric properties of the ethical climate questionnaire.


ethical climate; Ethical Climate Questionnaire; reliability; confirmatory factor analysis; discriminant validity; construct validity

JEL Codes

C52: Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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