Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 377–391 | Cite as

The Impact of Moral Stress Compared to Other Stressors on Employee Fatigue, Job Satisfaction, and Turnover: An Empirical Investigation

  • Kristen Bell DeTienne
  • Bradley R. Agle
  • James C. Phillips
  • Marc-Charles Ingerson


Moral stress is an increasingly significant concept in business ethics and the workplace environment. This study compares the impact of moral stress with other job stressors on three important employee variables—fatigue, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions—by utilizing survey data from 305 customer-contact employees of a financial institution’s call center. Statistical analysis on the interaction of moral stress and the three employee variables was performed while controlling for other types of job stress as well as demographic variables. The results reveal that even after including the control variables in the statistical models, moral stress remains a statistically significant predictor of increased employee fatigue, decreased job satisfaction, and increased turnover intentions. Implications for future research and for organizations are discussed.


Moral stress Fatigue Job satisfaction Turnover 



We express appreciation to Greg Adams, Melissa Porter, and Aaron Lee for their help on this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Bell DeTienne
    • 1
  • Bradley R. Agle
    • 1
  • James C. Phillips
    • 2
  • Marc-Charles Ingerson
    • 3
  1. 1.Marriott School of ManagementBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Boalt Hall School of LawUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.The Wheatley InstitutionBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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