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Examining the Moral Grey Zone: The Role of Moral Disengagement, Authenticity, and Situational Strength in predicting Unethical Managerial Behaviour

Knoll, M.; Lord, R.; Petersen, L.-E.; Weigelt, O.

Examining the Moral Grey Zone: The Role of Moral Disengagement, Authenticity, and Situational Strength in predicting Unethical Managerial Behaviour Thumbnail


Authors

M. Knoll

L.-E. Petersen

O. Weigelt



Abstract

In the business context, there is a broad spectrum of practices that potentially harm others, yet might benefit the organization. We examined the influence of individual and situational differences in predicting (un)ethical behavior in these moral gray zones using an in-basket exercise that included covert moral issues in which managers could give unethical instructions to their followers. Results show that individual differences in moral disengagement directly predicted unethical behavior and functioned as a mediator of the relationship between authenticity and unethical behavior. Furthermore, effects differed in weak compared to strong situations. Study 2, replicated the results from Study 1, developed a direct test of the situational strength hypothesis, and showed that high versus low situation strength moderated the relation of moral disengagement to unethical behavior.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 29, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 6, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 6, 2017
Journal Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Print ISSN 0021-9029
Electronic ISSN 1559-1816
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 1
Pages 65-78
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12353
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1402818

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Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Knoll, M., Lord, R. G., Petersen, L.-E. and Weigelt, O. (2015), Examining the moral grey zone: The role of moral disengagement, authenticity, and situational strength in predicting unethical managerial behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46(1): 65-78, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12353. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.






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