An experimental examination of the effects of individual and situational factors on unethical behavioral intentions in the workplace

Journal of Business Ethics 15 (5):511 - 523 (1996)
Abstract
Using a 2×2×2 experimental design, the effects of situational and individual variables on individuals' intentions to act unethically were investigated. Specifically examined were three situational variables: (1) quality of the work experience (good versus poor), (2) peer influences (unethical versus ethical), and (3) managerial influences (unethical versus ethical), and three individual variables: (4) locus of control, (5) Machiavellianism, and (6) gender, on individuals' behavioral intentions in an ethically ambiguous dilemma in an work setting. Experiment 1 revealed main effects for quality of work experience, Machiavellianism, locus of control, and an interaction effect for peer influences and managerial influences. Experiment 2 showed main effects for all three situational variables and Machiavellianism. Neither experiment supported gender differences. Limitations, future research, and implications for management are discussed.
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