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An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Individual and Situational Factors on Unethical Behavioral Intentions in the Workplace

Gwen E. Jones and Michael J. Kavanagh
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 15, No. 5 (May, 1996), pp. 511-523
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25072775
Page Count: 13
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An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Individual and Situational Factors on Unethical Behavioral Intentions in the Workplace
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Abstract

Using a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design, the effects of situational and individual variables on individuals' intentions to act unethically were investigated. Specifically examined were three situational variables: (1) quality of the work experience (good versus poor), (2) peer influences (unethical versus ethical), and (3) managerial influences (unethical versus ethical), and three individual variables: (4) locus of control, (5) Machiavellianism, and (6) gender, on individuals' behavioral intentions in an ethically ambiguous dilemma in an work setting. Experiment 1 revealed main effects for quality of work experience, Machiavellianism, locus of control, and an interaction effect for peer influences and managerial influences. Experiment 2 showed main effects for all three situational variables and Machiavellianism. Neither experiment supported gender differences. Limitations, future research, and implications for management are discussed.

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