Monetary wisdom: Can yoking religiosity (God) and the love of money (mammon) in performance and humane contexts inspire honesty? The Matthew Effect in Religion

Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Religion inspires honesty. The love of money incites dishonesty. Religious and monetary values apply to all religions. We develop a formative theoretical model of monetary wisdom, treat religiosity (God) and the love of money (mammon), as two yoked antecedents—competing moral issues (Time 1), and frame the latent construct in good barrels (performance or humane contexts, Time 2), which leads to (dis)honesty (Time 3). We explore the direct and indirect paths and the model across genders. Our three-wave panel data (411 participants) show that religious and monetary values are negatively correlated. Directly, religiosity consistently curbs dishonesty; surprisingly, the love of money has no impact on dishonesty. In the performance context, the two mediation effects reduce dishonesty. Across genders, this mediation effect is nonsignificant for males but significantly excites females' honesty. In the humane context, the two mediation effects are nonsignificant. Across genders, for the love of money, males passively curb dishonesty by omission, and females actively engage in honesty by commission. Decision-makers must challenge people's moral issues, frame them in good barrels, and help people become good apples, choice architects, and moral and ethical decision-makers, promoting the Matthew effect in religion. We offer practical implications to individuals and organizations.

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