Unethical behavior is a persistent problem in teams that can stimulate harmful relationship conflict and undermine collective performance. Yet, when considering its impact, scholars tend to focus on the overall amount of unethical behavior and neglect how it is distributed within the team. We propose that considering the way unethical behavior is patterned within teams provides a new lens by which to uncover when unethical behavior has less of a harmful impact. Integrating typologies of team configurations with social impact theory, we theorize that the impact of cheating on relationship conflict and creative performance depends on the interaction between how it is configured (i.e., the amount and pattern of individual member cheating behavior) and levels of peer-based rational control. In a diverse sample of almost one hundred teams, we find that relative to teams with a fragmented cheating configuration, teams with a bad apple cheating configuration experience less relationship conflict in contexts with high peer-based rational control; an effect that subsequently impacts team creative performance. Our research demonstrates the value added by considering how cheating emerges as different team configurations and offers implications for interventions intended to suppress its harmful effects.
cheating, relationship conflict, team creative performance, teams, unethical behavior
该文已于2023年1月在线发表。期刊Personnel Psychology为组织行为与人力资源管理领域著名期刊之一，学院B+类奖励期刊。DOI: 10.1111/peps.12563，卫武为通讯作者。