Doing as They Would Do: How the Perceived Ethical Preferences of Third-Party Beneficiaries Impact Ethical Decision-Making
Scott S. Wiltermuth
University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business
Victor Manuel Bennett
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business
October 9, 2013
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 122, 280-290
Although unethical behavior often benefits third-parties not directly complicit in the misconduct, not all beneficiaries welcome these ill-gotten benefits. We investigate whether actors consider the ethical preferences of potential beneficiaries or rely solely on their own ethical predispositions when making decisions that affect others. Three studies demonstrate that the perceived ethical preferences of these beneficiaries can substantially influence the likelihood that actors behave unethically on their behalves. These studies show that actors consider the ethical preferences of beneficiaries only when their own ethical disposition is outcome-based.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: Ethics, Prosocial, Decision-Making, Moral Orientation, Ethical Predisposition
Date posted: October 13, 2013 ; Last revised: December 11, 2013
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