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Measuring Perceived Corporate Hypocrisy: Scale Development in the Context of U.S. Retail Employees

Saheli Goswami (), Jung Ha-Brookshire () and Wes Bonifay ()
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Saheli Goswami: Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design, College of Business, University of Rhode Island, 55 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
Jung Ha-Brookshire: Textile and Apparel Management, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri, 137 Stanley Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Wes Bonifay: Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri, 5C Hill Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-26

Abstract: Despite an increasing amount of research on perceived corporate hypocrisy (PCH), limited research has investigated PCH among employees. Particularly, the literature lacked a valid instrument for estimating employees’ PCH, even though employees experience severe consequences for PCH. To address this gap, a scale was developed to measure employees’ PCH, using a three-stage Item Response Theory modeling approach. After a series of qualitative studies and six quantitative scale-development iterations, PCH was found to be a unidimensional construct represented by the perceived lack of morality, perceived control breach, double standards, and a value‒behavior gap. Further, the nine-item PCH scale was confirmed to be reliable, valid, and unbiased for different demographic groups. The scale makes theoretical contributions by being one of the few attempts to objectively measure employees’ hypocrisy judgements and incorporating corporations’ double standard and perceived commitment to morality as defining features of employees’ PCH. Assessment of employees’ PCH can help in expanding the hypocrisy literature beyond consumers’ perceptions. Finally, the scale enables corporations to measure employees’ PCH and get an in-depth understanding of the issues of concern as work and organizational phenomena. By implementing proper management strategies, corporations can potentially avoid PCH, create more favorable perceptions among employees, and improve their reputations.

Keywords: perceived corporate hypocrisy; scale development; retail; item response theory; employees; behavioral concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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