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Investigating when and why psychological entitlement predicts unethical pro-organizational behavior

Lee, Allan, Schwarz, Gary, Newman, Alexander and Legood, Alison 2017, Investigating when and why psychological entitlement predicts unethical pro-organizational behavior, Journal of business ethics, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.1007/s10551-017-3456-z.

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Title Investigating when and why psychological entitlement predicts unethical pro-organizational behavior
Author(s) Lee, Allan
Schwarz, Gary
Newman, Alexander
Legood, Alison
Journal name Journal of business ethics
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2017-02-20
ISSN 0167-4544
1573-0697
Keyword(s) unethical pro-organizational behavior
psychological entitlement
organizational identification
counterproductive work behavior
status striving
organizational justice
moral disengagement
Summary In this research, we examine the relationship between employee psychological entitlement (PE) and employee willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB). We hypothesize that a high level of PE—the belief that one should receive desirable treatment irrespective of whether it is deserved—will increase the prevalence of this particular type of unethical behavior. We argue that, driven by self-interest and the desire to look good in the eyes of others, highly entitled employees may be more willing to engage in UPB when their personal goals are aligned with those of their organizations. Support for this proposition was found in Study 1, which demonstrates that organizational identification accentuates the link between PE and the willingness to engage in UPB. Study 2 builds on these findings by examining a number of mediating variables that shed light on why PE leads to a greater willingness among employees to engage in UPB. Furthermore, we explored the differential effects of PE on UPB compared to counterproductive work behavior (CWB). We found support for our moderated mediation model, which shows that status striving and moral disengagement fully mediate the link between PE and UPB. PE was also linked to CWB and was fully mediated by perceptions of organizational justice and moral disengagement.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10551-017-3456-z
Field of Research 1503 Business And Management
2201 Applied Ethics
1505 Marketing
Socio Economic Objective 0 Not Applicable
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30091704

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Management
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