Unethical for the sake of the group: Risk of social exclusion and pro-group unethical behavior.

Thau, S and Derfler-Rozin, R and Pitesa, M and Mitchell, M S and Pillutla, M (2015) Unethical for the sake of the group: Risk of social exclusion and pro-group unethical behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100 (1). pp. 98-113. ISSN 0021-9010

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Abstract

This research tested the idea that the risk of exclusion from one's group motivates group members to engage in unethical behaviors that secure better outcomes for the group (pro-group unethical behaviors). We theorized that this effect occurs because those at risk of exclusion seek to improve their inclusionary status by engaging in unethical behaviors that benefit the group; we tested this assumption by examining how the effect of exclusion risk on pro-group unethical behavior varies as a function of group members' need for inclusion. A 2-wave field study conducted among a diverse sample of employees working in groups (Study 1) and a constructive replication using a laboratory experiment (Study 2) provided converging evidence for the theory. Study 1 found that perceived risk of exclusion from one's workgroup predicted employees' engagement in pro-group unethical behaviors, but only when employees have a high (not low) need for inclusion. In Study 2, compared to low risk of exclusion from a group, high risk of exclusion led to more pro-group (but not pro-self) unethical behaviors, but only for participants with a high (not low) need for inclusion. We discuss implications for theory and the management of unethical behaviors in organizations.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creiators:
ISB Creators
ORCiD
Pillutla, M
https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-5529-5094
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research article was published by the author with the affiliation of London Business School
Uncontrolled Keywords: Unethical Behavior, Social Exclusion
Subjects: Organization Behavior
Depositing User: Gurusrinivasan K
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2021 13:02
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2021 13:02
URI: https://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/1553
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036708
Publisher OA policy: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/3464
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