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Justifying Deviant Behavior: The Role of Attributions and Moral Emotions

Paul Harvey (), Mark J. Martinko () and Nancy Borkowski ()
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Paul Harvey: University of New Hampshire
Mark J. Martinko: Florida A&M University
Nancy Borkowski: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Journal of Business Ethics, 2017, vol. 141, issue 4, 779-795

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.

Keywords: Attributions; Cognition; Deviance; Justification; Moral emotions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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