An investigation into the acceptability of workplace behaviors of a dubious ethical nature

Journal of Business Ethics 12 (7):517 - 524 (1993)
Jones (1990) described ten workplace behaviors of a dubious ethical nature and determined that the hierarchical position adopted by respondents influenced the perceived acceptability of these behaviors. This measure seems promising, and therefore the purpose of this investigation is two-fold: (1) to explore further the psychometric properties of these ten items; and (2) to examine the role of individual difference variables as correlates of perceived acceptability. In two samples of working people, the Jones items were found to be internally consistent, not obviously subject to range restriction, modestly related to social desirability, largely orthogonal to age and managerial status, but clearly linked with Machiavellianism. The nature of the linkage between perceived acceptability and both sex and the Protestant work ethic differed across the two studies, which underscores the need for future research. Two additional variables worth investigating in such research may be locus of control and equity sensitivity.
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