Does moral commitment predict resistance to corruption? Experimental evidence from a bribery game
Tanner C, Linder S, Sohn M (2022) Does moral commitment predict resistance to corruption? experimental evidence from a bribery game. PLoS ONE 17(1): e0262201. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262201
Posted: 2 Mar 2020 Last revised: 14 Jan 2022
Date Written: September 19, 2021
Corruption is ubiquitous in practice and has severe negative consequences for organizations and societies at large. Drawing on a laboratory experiment, we propose that individuals high in moral commitment are less likely to engage in corrupt behaviors and prefer foregoing financial benefits. Specifically, we posit that individuals refrain from corruption (i) the more they endorse integrity (incorruptibility) as a protected value and (ii) the higher their level of Honesty-Humility. The results of a two-step experiment largely support our expectations: people who treat compromises to integrity as unacceptable were less willing to accept bribes, and Honesty-Humility decreased bribe-giving. The findings are robust to demographic variables (e.g., age, gender, cultural background) and additional personal characteristics (e.g., risk tolerance, dispositional greed) and have important implications for ongoing theory-building efforts and business practice.
Keywords: corruption, bribery, moral preferences, protected values, Honesty-Humility
JEL Classification: D91, D73, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation