Character, conditions, and cognitions: the role of personality, climate, intensity, and moral disengagement in the unethical decision-making process
Despite increased attention given to unethical decision-making, few studies have simultaneously examined the multiple influences that may effect this outcome. In addition, few studies have examined the processes through which unethical decision-making may be influenced. Drawing on field theory and the concept of situational strength and social cognitive theory and the concept of moral disengagement, the researcher examined the simultaneous influence of the meta-personality trait core self-evaluation, ethical climate, and moral intensity on ethical decision-making along with the role of moral disengagement as a mediator of the relationship between core self-evaluation and intent to engage in unethical decision-making. In addition, intent to engage in unethical decision-making was explored as a mediator of the relationship between core self-evaluation and unethical behavior. Maximum-likelihood structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the main effects of core self-evaluation, ethical climate, and moral intensity as well as the mediating and moderating hypotheses. The study's implications as well as limitations and directions for future research are discussed.