Regulatory Focus and (Un)ethical Behavior Within an Organization
Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)
Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
Research on regulatory focus and morality has largely focused on judgments or discrete behaviors in the laboratory, leaving the relationship between the promotion and prevention focus and actual long-term ethical and unethical behavior relatively unexamined. In our study, we explored the role of regulatory focus on desired and undesired behaviors in an ethically charged organizational context: the United States Military Academy. Specifically, we examined the relationship between regulatory focus and over two years of observed behavioral conduct. Across this time period, the promotion focus was associated with higher frequencies of observed ethical behavior, with no relationship to observed unethical behavior. In contrast, the prevention focus was associated with both higher levels of observed ethical behavior and lower levels of observed unethical behavior. The theoretical implications of these findings for regulatory focus and morality are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Cornwell, J. F. M., & Korenman, L. M. (2021). Regulatory focus and (un)ethical behavior within an organization. Motivation Science. Advance online publication. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/mot0000224
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