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Published in: Journal of Business Ethics 1/2022

23-02-2021 | Original Paper

Moral Reactions to Bribery are Fundamentally Different for Managers Witnessing and Managers Committing Such Acts: Tests of Cognitive-Emotional Explanations of Bribery

Authors: Ekta Sharma, Richard P. Bagozzi

Published in: Journal of Business Ethics | Issue 1/2022

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Abstract

We investigate how paying a bribe or refusing a bribe differs between observing others doing this or committing such acts oneself. Study 1 examines how and when observing others paying a bribe or refusing a bribe leads to actions opposing bribery or supporting anti-bribery. The how question is answered by showing that positive and negative emotions mediate such responses; the when question is answered by demonstrating that empathy and the social self-concept constitute personal conditions for regulating such effects. Study 2 scrutinizes how and when paying a bribe or refusing a bribe leads to actions reducing bribery. Here the mediators pride and shame, and the social self-concept again regulates such effects. Actual managers are the respondents in these two field experiments, with 140 men and women in Study 1 and 207 men and women in Study 2.
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Footnotes
1
We propose to introduce a tougher test of the effects of shame and pride by proposing attitudes as measured control variables. Attitudes are probably the most researched micro determinants of decision making in the behavioral, social, and managerial sciences, and have played an important role in business ethics in general (e.g., Fleischman 2019; Kashif et al. 2018; Quinn 1997; Murphy et al. 1992; Randall 1989), and in research into bribery as well (e.g., Wated and Sanchez 2005). Unlike emotions, attitudes are evaluative responses (e.g., good-bad) that are thought to influence decisions, intentions, and plans. As shown in Fig. 1b, attitudes toward accepting bribes and attitudes toward refusing bribes are included as mediators parallel to shame and pride, respectively. We stress that the inclusion of attitudes as mediators and contingent mediators is done to provide rival hypotheses for the roles of shame and pride and thereby increase the difficulty of demonstrating effects for the self-conscious emotions. In other words, we desire to see the incremental contribution of our new hypotheses over and above longstanding predictions for attitudes.
 
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Metadata
Title
Moral Reactions to Bribery are Fundamentally Different for Managers Witnessing and Managers Committing Such Acts: Tests of Cognitive-Emotional Explanations of Bribery
Authors
Ekta Sharma
Richard P. Bagozzi
Publication date
23-02-2021
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Published in
Journal of Business Ethics / Issue 1/2022
Print ISSN: 0167-4544
Electronic ISSN: 1573-0697
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-021-04743-1

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