The role of moral decoupling in the causes and consequences of unethical pro-organizational behavior

Author:  Ryan Fehr, David Welsh, Kai Chi Yam, Michael Baer, Wu Wei⁎ (ÎÀÎä), Manuel Vaulont
Publication:  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Abstract:  ¡¾Abstract¡¿ In this paper we explore the antecedents and consequences of employees¡¯ unethical pro-organizational behavior(UPB) through the lens of moral decoupling¡ªa moral reasoning process whereby individuals separate theirperceptions of morality from their perceptions of performance. First, we argue that employees increase theirengagement in UPBs when they (1) see their supervisors doing the same and (2) believe that their supervisorsendorse moral decoupling. Second, we argue that employees¡¯ UPBs are only positively related to supervisors¡¯evaluations of their job performance when supervisors themselves report that they morally decouple. We testthese hypotheses in a field sample of supervisor¨Cemployee dyads and two experimental studies. This combinationof studies highlights the complex link between ethics and perceptions of performance within organizations.
¡¾Keywords¡¿Unethical pro-organizational behavior;Moral decoupling;Ethics;Morality;Performance