Breaking the rules: Examining the facilitation effects of moral intensity characteristics on the recognition of rule violations [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 78 (1-2):275 - 289 (2008)
This research project seeks to discover whether certain characteristics of a moral issue facilitate individuals’ abilities to detect violators of a conditional rule. In business, conditional rules are often framed in terms of a social contract between employer and employee. Of significant concern to business ethicists is the fact that these social contracts are frequently breached. Some researchers in the field of evolutionary psychology argue that there is a biological basis to social contract formation and dissolution in business. However, although it is inescapable that biological forces shaped a fixed neural structure that guides and limits humans’ abilities, we argue that characteristics of the situation in which the person finds himself or herself moderate the activation of these neural circuits in ordinary business social contract situations. Specifically, the moral intensity associated with the social contract conditional rule is likely to influence peoples’ abilities to detect violators of the rule. This study utilizes adapted versions of the Wason selection task and manipulates the issue-contingent moral intensity characteristics of magnitude of consequences, proximity, and social consensus to assess if moral intensity facilitates detection of rule violators. Results from this empirical study indicate no relationship between moral intensity characteristics and issue recognition but do provide insights into the evolutionary psychology approach.
Keywords moral intensity  ethical decision-making  issue recognition  social contracts  evolutionary psychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,439
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

19 ( #203,447 of 1,911,652 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #458,010 of 1,911,652 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.