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Justifying Deviant Behavior: The Role of Attributions and Moral Emotions

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Harvey

    () (University of New Hampshire)

  • Mark J. Martinko

    () (Florida A&M University)

  • Nancy Borkowski

    () (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Abstract

Abstract We present two studies investigating the impact of causal perceptions and the moral emotions of anger, shame, and guilt on the justification of deviant workplace behavior. Study 1 tests our conceptual framework using a sample of undergraduate business students; Study 2 examines a population of practicing physicians. Results varied significantly between the two samples, suggesting that individual and contextual factors play an important role in shaping the perceptual and emotional processes by which individuals form reactions to undesirable affective workplace events. Implications of these findings for the study of ethics, emotions, and attributions, as well as for promoting ethical behavior, are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Harvey & Mark J. Martinko & Nancy Borkowski, 2017. "Justifying Deviant Behavior: The Role of Attributions and Moral Emotions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 141(4), pages 779-795, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:141:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3046-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-016-3046-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bracht, Jürgen & Regner, Tobias, 2013. "Moral emotions and partnership," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 313-326.
    2. Noe, Thomas H & Rebello, Michael J, 1994. "The Dynamics of Business Ethics and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 531-547, June.
    3. Gerdien Vries & Karen Jehn & Bart Terwel, 2012. "When Employees Stop Talking and Start Fighting: The Detrimental Effects of Pseudo Voice in Organizations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 105(2), pages 221-230, January.
    4. Taya Cohen, 2010. "Moral Emotions and Unethical Bargaining: The Differential Effects of Empathy and Perspective Taking in Deterring Deceitful Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 94(4), pages 569-579, July.
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