The Cost of Unethical Behavior

To join in celebrating Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week, we bring you an article from the Journal of Management that examines the link between unethical behavior and emotional exhaustion, a topic we covered last week:

Many employees feel ethically conflicted at work, but research has yet to identify the specific mechanisms that give rise to this sense of ethical conflict. The authors propose that ethical conflicts occur when companies encourage employees to behave counter to their own sense of right and wrong during the process of organizational socialization. Employees who are subject to these pressures experience psychological distress. The JOM_v38_72ppiRGB_150pixWauthors’ study of 371 early career lawyers found that divestiture socialization was positively related to ethical conflict and that ethical conflict was related to higher emotional exhaustion and lower career fulfillment. Ethical conflict partially mediated the relationship between divestiture socialization and emotional exhaustion. Narrative comments provided by respondents reinforced the relationship between divestiture socialization and ethical conflict.

Read “The Psychic Cost of Doing Wrong: Ethical Conflict, Divestiture Socialization, and Emotional Exhaustion,” published by John D. Kammeyer-Mueller and Lauren S. Simon, both of the University of Florida, and Bruce L. Rich of California State University, San Marcos in the Journal of Management May 2012 issue.

This entry was posted in Ethics and tagged , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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