Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-2013

Abstract

Recent research on the dynamics of moral behavior has documented two contrasting phenomena—moral consistency and moral balancing. Moral balancing refers to the phenomenon whereby behaving ethically or unethically decreases the likelihood of engaging in the same type of behavior again later. Moral consistency describes the opposite pattern—engaging in ethical or unethical behavior increases the likelihood of engaging in the same type of behavior later on. The three studies reported here supported the hypothesis that individuals’ ethical mind-set (i.e., outcome-based vs. rule-based) moderates the impact of an initial ethical or unethical act on the likelihood of behaving ethically on a subsequent occasion. More specifically, an outcome-based mind-set facilitated moral balancing, and a rule-based mind-set facilitated moral consistency.

Keywords

moral balancing, moral consistency, ethical mind-sets, ethical behavior, morality, goals, decision making

Discipline

Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Psychological Science

Volume

24

Issue

4

First Page

482

Last Page

488

ISSN

0956-7976

Identifier

10.1177/0956797612457376

Publisher

SAGE

Copyright Owner and License

Authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797612457376

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