Character Traits in the Workplace: A Three-Month Diary Study of Moral and Immoral Organizational Behaviors
In C. B. Miller, R. M. Furr, A. Knobel, & W. Fleeson. (Eds.), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (pp. 150-163). Oxford University Press, New York
23 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 15, 2015
The Work Experiences and Character Traits (WECT) project investigated how moral character, personality, emotions, and treatment by managers and coworkers affected how frequently workers engaged in ethical and unethical behavior at their jobs. Over three months, we administered 14 surveys to more than 1,500 adults living in the United States, who worked in a diverse array of occupations in the private and public sectors. The initial and final surveys assessed personality and moral character traits, as well as job and organizational characteristics. Twelve weekly surveys assessed work behaviors, work experiences, and emotions. A coworker survey assessed coworkers’ judgments of the targets’ personality and moral character traits, as well as their observations of the targets’ work behaviors. Our research showed that individual differences in moral character have consistent, meaningful effects on employees’ work behaviors, and our findings contest situationist perspectives that de-emphasize the importance of individual differences in predicting behavior.
Keywords: morality; ethics; character; personality; individual differences; counterproductive work behaviors; organizational citizenship behaviors;
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