A Social Exchange Perspective of Employee–Organization Relationships and Employee Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior: The Moderating Role of Individual Moral Identity

Journal of Business Ethics 159 (2):473-489 (2019)
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Abstract

Prior research on employee–organization relationships has exclusively focused on the positive consequences of high-inducement EORs. Drawing from social exchange theory, we develop a model theorizing employee unethical pro-organizational behavior as one potential negative outcome of high-inducement EORs, as mediated by high-quality social exchange relationship between the employee and the employer. Empirical findings from two field studies provided convergent support to the mediation relationship between mutual-investment EORs and employee UPB via perceived social exchange. Moreover, the results in Study 2 further revealed that the relationship was less significant among employees with higher levels of moral identity, because the positive relationship between perceived social exchange and employee UPB was weakened by high moral identity. The theoretical and managerial implications were discussed.

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Yong Zhang
Monash University