When and why are employees’ unethical behaviours tolerated versus rejected?
Examined through the lens of moral psychology, the authors investigate when and why employees’ unethical behaviours may be tolerated versus rejected.
Specifically, the authors examine the interactive effect of employees’ unethical behaviours and job performance onto relationship conflict, and whether such conflict eventuates in workplace ostracism. Although employees’ unethical behaviours typically go against moral norms, high job performance may provide a motivated reason to ignore moral violations.
In this regard, the authors predict that job performance will mitigate the relationship between employee unethical behaviour and workplace ostracism, as mediated by relationship conflict. Study 1, a multisource field study, tests and provides support for Hypotheses 1 and 2. Study 2, also a multisource field study, provides support for the authors’ fully specified model. Study 3, a time‐lagged field study, provides support for the authors’ theoretical model while controlling for employees’ negative affectivity and ethical environment. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Quade, Matthew J., Greenbaum, Rebecca L. & Petrenko, Oleg V. 2017. “I don’t want to be near you, unless…”: The interactive effect of unethical behavior and performance onto relationship conflict and workplace ostracism.