Unethical Prosocial Behavior: Theory Development and Experimental Findings

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Job performance has historically been divided into two subsets, that which is prescribed and that which is discretionary. Further, discretionary workplace behavior has typically been described as either helpful or ethical (i.e. organizational citizenship behavior) or harmful and unethical (i.e. workplace deviance behavior) with behavior that is both helpful and unethical rarely discussed. I term this lesser discussed type of discretionary workplace behavior unethical prosocial behavior and define it as discretionary actions that are intended to benefit a specific referent outside the self, either an individual or a group, that are illegal and/or morally inappropriate to larger society. In addition ... continued below

Physical Description

vii, 129 pages : color illustrations

Creation Information

Herchen, Julia L. August 2015.

Context

This dissertation is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 132 times , with 19 in the last month . More information about this dissertation can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this dissertation or its content.

Chair

Committee Members

Publisher

Rights Holder

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Herchen, Julia L.

Provided By

UNT Libraries

With locations on the Denton campus of the University of North Texas and one in Dallas, UNT Libraries serves the school and the community by providing access to physical and online collections; The Portal to Texas History and UNT Digital Libraries; academic research, and much, much more.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this dissertation. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Degree Information

Description

Job performance has historically been divided into two subsets, that which is prescribed and that which is discretionary. Further, discretionary workplace behavior has typically been described as either helpful or ethical (i.e. organizational citizenship behavior) or harmful and unethical (i.e. workplace deviance behavior) with behavior that is both helpful and unethical rarely discussed. I term this lesser discussed type of discretionary workplace behavior unethical prosocial behavior and define it as discretionary actions that are intended to benefit a specific referent outside the self, either an individual or a group, that are illegal and/or morally inappropriate to larger society. In addition to defining unethical prosocial behavior, this paper places the behavior in an organizing framework of discretionary workplace behaviors and tests several hypotheses regarding unethical prosocial behavior. The hypotheses address three primary research questions. First, are there contextual conditions that make it more likely that a person will engage in unethical prosocial behavior? Second, does the nature of the relationship between the actor and the beneficiary make unethical prosocial behavior more or less likely? And third, are there individual characteristics that serve to either constrain or enhance the likelihood that and individual will engage in unethical prosocial behavior? A 2 x 2 experimental design was used to test these hypotheses. As expected, in-group (vs. out-group) salience increased the likelihood of UPB. Individuals in the in-group condition engaged in significantly greater UPBs than those in the out-group condition. Contrary to expectations, shared reward (vs. no reward) decreased the likelihood of UPB. Individuals who were due a reward engaged less in UPBs than those who were not due a reward. Possible explanations for this relationship (both methodological and theoretical) are explored. While the overall effect of reward structure on UPB was in the opposite direction from that which was expected, propensity to morally disengage had the anticipated effect on the relationship between rewards and UPB. Those high in propensity to morally disengage were more likely to engage in UPB when a shared reward was offered (vs. no reward). Due to the nature of the task and the data collected, it was possible to operationalize UPB as a continuous measure as well as a dichotomous event (UPB/no UPB). This lead to a supplemental analysis that shed additional light on the nature of the relationship between group salience and UPB. The analysis shows that not only do subjects tend to over report the scores for fellow in-group members, but they also tend to underreport scores for out-group members. Fruitful areas for future work on the nascent UPB construct are discussed.

Physical Description

vii, 129 pages : color illustrations

Language

Collections

This dissertation is part of the following collection of related materials.

UNT Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

What responsibilities do I have when using this dissertation?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this dissertation.

Creation Date

  • August 2015

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 4, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • May 3, 2017, 7:34 a.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this dissertation last used?

Yesterday: 1
Past 30 days: 19
Total Uses: 132

Interact With This Dissertation

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Herchen, Julia L. Unethical Prosocial Behavior: Theory Development and Experimental Findings, dissertation, August 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804877/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .