Doing as They Would Do: How the Perceived Ethical Preferences of Third-Party Beneficiaries Impact Ethical Decision-Making
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 122, 280-290
44 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2013 Last revised: 11 Dec 2013
Date Written: October 9, 2013
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.
Keywords: Ethics, Prosocial, Decision-Making, Moral Orientation, Ethical Predisposition
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