Bringing ethics into focus: How regulatory focus and risk preferences influence (Un)ethical behavior
In four laboratory studies, we find that regulatory focus induced by situational cues (such as the framing of an unrelated task) or primed influences people's likelihood to cross ethical boundaries. A promotion focus leads individuals to be more likely to act unethically than a prevention focus (Studies 1, 2, and 3). These higher levels of dishonesty are explained by the influence of a person's induced regulatory focus on his or her behavior toward risk. A promotion focus leads to risk-seeking behaviors, while a prevention focus leads to risk avoidance (Study 3). Through higher levels of dishonesty, promotion focus also results in higher levels of virtuous behavior (Studies 2 and 3), thus providing evidence for compensatory ethics. Our results also demonstrate that the framing of ethics (e.g., through an organization's ethics code) influences individuals' ethical behavior and does so differently depending on an individual's induced regulatory focus (Study 4).
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 115 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
7656, David K. Levine.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Forster, Jens & Higgins, E. Tory & Bianco, Amy Taylor, 2003. "Speed/accuracy decisions in task performance: Built-in trade-off or separate strategic concerns?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 148-164, January.
- 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," Other publications TiSEM c60167a3-c3aa-4b83-9192-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Pham, Michel Tuan & Avnet, Tamar, 2004. " Ideals and Oughts and the Reliance on Affect versus Substance in Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 503-18, March.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Brockner, Joel & Higgins, E. Tory & Low, Murray B., 2004. "Regulatory focus theory and the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 203-220, March.
- Harrison, James D. & Young, Jane M. & Butow, Phyllis & Salkeld, Glenn & Solomon, Michael J., 2005. "Is it worth the risk? A systematic review of instruments that measure risk propensity for use in the health setting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 1385-1396, March.
- Ann-RenÃ©e Blais & Elke U. Weber, 2006. "A Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT) scale for adult populations," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 33-47, July.
- Brockner, Joel & Higgins, E. Tory, 2001. "Regulatory Focus Theory: Implications for the Study of Emotions at Work," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 35-66, September.
- Messick, David M., 1996. "Why Ethics is not the Only Thing that Matters," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 223-226, April.
- Ann-Renée Blais & Elke U. Weber, 2006. "A Domain-Specific Risk-Taking (DOSPERT)Scale for Adult Populations," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-24, CIRANO.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
- Gino, Francesca & Pierce, Lamar, 2009. "The abundance effect: Unethical behavior in the presence of wealth," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 142-155, July.
- Chen-Bo Zhong & Gillian Ku & Robert Lount & J. Murnighan, 2010. "Compensatory Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 323-339, March.
- Crowe, Ellen & Higgins, E. Tory, 1997. "Regulatory Focus and Strategic Inclinations: Promotion and Prevention in Decision-Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 117-132, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:115:y:2011:i:2:p:145-156. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.