Moral disengagement and moral judgment: the roles of moral endorsement, shareholder-value orientation, and intensity of moral issues

Ethics and Behavior 31 (5):365-380 (2021)
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Abstract

Previous research demonstrates the critical role moral disengagement plays in unethical decision-making. This study investigates the relationships among moral endorsement, shareholder-value orientation, moral disengagement, and moral judgment on issues of different moral intensities. The results of a scenario-based survey conducted in China confirm the negative (positive) impact of moral disengagement (moral intensity) on moral judgment. The findings reveal that both moral endorsement and shareholder-value orientation of decision-makers significantly influence moral judgment and that moral intensity moderates the relationships between moral endorsement and moral judgment, and between shareholder-value orientation and moral disengagement. The study’s theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and limitations are discussed.

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