Multi-level Organizational Moral Disengagement: Directions for Future Investigation

Journal of Business Ethics 130 (2):291-300 (2015)
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The purpose of this article is to provide a theoretical review of the moral disengagement literature, integrating research that has been completed as well as identifying thought lacunas, including the subfield of organizational moral disengagement. It is proposed that because moral disengagement is an inherently interpersonal phenomenon, organizational moral disengagement should be a salient concern of both organizational and management researchers. A conceptual framework of organizational moral disengagement is suggested, examining moral disengagement at both the employee as well as manager/executive level. Lastly, a series of propositions are proffered in order to provide direction to organizational moral disengagement researchers, including the proposition that moral disengagement is a function of interpersonal proximity and the possession or lack of organizational power. Methods for effectively studying organizational moral disengagement are suggested.



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