Meta-Analyzing the Differential Effects of Emotions on Disengagement from Unethical Behavior: An Asymmetric Self-Regulation Model

  • Dejun Tony Kong
  • Sarah Drew
Part of the Jepson Studies in Leadership book series (JSL)


Ethics are an important element of all kinds of social relations and conflict. Yet ethical scandals abound in various areas, including business, law, politics, medicine, education, and so forth. As unethical behavior becomes “in vogue” (Lewicki & Robinson, 1998, p. 665), researchers have increased effort to identify the individual-level causes of unethical behavior (Kish-Gephart, Harrison, & Treviño, 2010; O’Fallon & Butterfield, 2005;Tenbrunsel & Smith-Crowe, 2008; Treviño, Weaver, & Reynolds, 2006). Yet this line of inquiry, which has largely adopted rationalist approaches (e.g., Kohlberg, 1969; Piaget, 1965), focuses on trait and situational factors (Kish-Gephart et al., 2010; Moore & Gino, 2013) and neglects the important effects of state/temporary factors, such as emotions (Haidt, 2001;Tangney, Stuewig, & Mashek, 2007). Emotions have been considered “a non-essential aspect to the ethical decision process that is best ignored, if not controlled, as it interferes with a logical, rational ethical decision process” (Gaudine &Thorne, 2001, p. 175; also see Eisenberg, 2000;Treviño et al., 2006). Yet Tenbrunsel and Smith-Crowe (2008) noted that they are “disappointed that most research assumes that the process is a reason-based one (in the traditional sense), thus ignoring the roles of emotions, the subconscious, and intuition” (p. 547).


Business Ethic Emotion Regulation Negative Emotion Positive Emotion Unethical Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Dejun Tony Kong and Sarah Drew 2016

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  • Dejun Tony Kong
  • Sarah Drew

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