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Falling or Not Falling into Temptation? Multiple Faces of Temptation, Monetary Intelligence, and Unethical Intentions Across Gender

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  • Thomas Tang

    ()

  • Toto Sutarso

    ()

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    Abstract

    We develop a theoretical model, explore the relationship between temptation (both reflective and formative) and unethical intentions by treating monetary intelligence (MI) as a mediator, and examine the direct (temptation to unethical intentions) and indirect (temptation to MI to unethical intentions) paths simultaneously based on multiple-wave panel data collected from 340 part-time employees and university (business) students. The positive indirect path suggested that yielding to temptation (e.g., high cognitive impairment and lack of self-control) led to poor MI (low stewardship behavior, but high cognitive meaning) that, in turn, led to high unethical intentions (theft, corruption, and deception). Our counterintuitive negative direct path revealed that those who controlled their temptation had high unethical intentions. Due to the multiple faces of temptation (the suppression effect), maliciously controlled temptation (low cognitive impairment and high self control) led to deviant intentions. Subsequent multi-group analysis across gender (a moderator) reformulated the mystery of temptation: a negative direct path for males, but a positive indirect path for females. For males, the negative direct path generated a dark impact on unethical intentions; for females, the positive indirect path did not, but offered great implications for consumer behavior. Both falling “and” not falling into temptation led to unethical intentions which varied across gender. Our counterintuitive, novel, and original theoretical, empirical, and practical contributions may spark curiosity and add new vocabulary to the conversation regarding temptation, money attitudes, consumer psychology, and business ethics. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.

    Volume (Year): 116 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 529-552

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:116:y:2013:i:3:p:529-552

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281

    Related research

    Keywords: Temptation (impulsive behavior; cognitive impairment; self-control; social moral value; and getting rich); Monetary intelligence (motive; stewardship; meaning); Deviant intentions (theft; corruption; deception); Reflective versus formative; Gender; Love of Money; Evil; Money Ethic; Consumer psychology; Theory of free will; Business ethics; Longitudinal;

    References

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    1. Thomas Tang & Yuh-Jia Chen, 2008. "Intelligence Vs. Wisdom: The Love of Money, Machiavellianism, and Unethical Behavior across College Major and Gender," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 82(1), pages 1-26, September.
    2. Barbara Ritter, 2006. "Can Business Ethics be Trained? A Study of the Ethical Decision-making Process in Business Students," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 68(2), pages 153-164, October.
    3. Hong Wong, 2008. "Religiousness, Love of Money, and Ethical Attitudes of Malaysian Evangelical Christians in Business," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 169-191, August.
    4. Thomas Tang & Hsi Liu, 2012. "Love of Money and Unethical Behavior Intention: Does an Authentic Supervisor’s Personal Integrity and Character (ASPIRE) Make a Difference?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 295-312, May.
    5. Thomas Tang, 2010. "From Increasing Gas Efficiency to Enhancing Creativity: It Pays to Go Green," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(2), pages 149-155, June.
    6. Mead, N.L. & Baumeister, R.F. & Gino, F. & Schweitzer, M.E. & Ariely, D., 2009. "Too tired to tell the truth: Self-control resource depletion and dishonesty," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3557352, Tilburg University.
    7. Garðarsdóttir, Ragna B. & Dittmar, Helga, 2012. "The relationship of materialism to debt and financial well-being: The case of Iceland’s perceived prosperity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 471-481.
    8. Belk, Russell W, 1988. " Possessions and the Extended Self," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 139-68, September.
    9. Rook, Dennis W, 1987. " The Buying Impulse," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 189-99, September.
    10. Elisaveta Sardžoska & Thomas Tang, 2012. "Work-Related Behavioral Intentions in Macedonia: Coping Strategies, Work Environment, Love of Money, Job Satisfaction, and Demographic Variables," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 373-391, July.
    11. Belk, Russell W, 1985. " Materialism: Trait Aspects of Living in the Material World," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 265-80, December.
    12. Jarvis, Cheryl Burke & MacKenzie, Scott B & Podsakoff, Philip M, 2003. " A Critical Review of Construct Indicators and Measurement Model Misspecification in Marketing and Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 199-218, September.
    13. Mick, David Glen, 1996. " Are Studies of Dark Side Variables Confounded by Socially Desirable Responding? The Case of Materialism," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 106-19, September.
    14. T. Tang, 2007. "Income and Quality of Life: Does the Love of Money Make a Difference?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 72(4), pages 375-393, June.
    15. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2007. "Corruption, Norms, and Legal Enforcement: Evidence from Diplomatic Parking Tickets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1020-1048, December.
    16. Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
    17. Yuh-Jia Chen & Thomas Tang, 2006. "Attitude Toward and Propensity to Engage in Unethical Behavior: Measurement Invariance across Major among University Students," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 77-93, November.
    18. Thomas Tang & Toto Sutarso & Grace Davis & Dariusz Dolinski & Abdul Ibrahim & Sharon Wagner, 2008. "To Help or Not to Help? The Good Samaritan Effect and the Love of Money on Helping Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 82(4), pages 865-887, November.
    19. Tang, Thomas Li-Ping, 1996. "Pay differentials as a function of rater's sex, money ethic, and job incumbent's sex: A test of the Matthew Effect," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 127-144, February.
    20. Shanda Traiser & Myron Eighmy, 2011. "Moral Development and Narcissism of Private and Public University Business Students," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 325-334, March.
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