This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Moral Disengagement from an Organizational Justice Perspective: An Exploratory Study




Stevens, Gregory W.

Type of Degree





The current study contributes to a growing understanding of the construct of moral disengagement, in particular the role of organizational justice and individual differences as antecedents. In a study of 272 undergraduate students, no significant relationship was found between organizational justice and a tendency to morally disengage, as assessed through responses to ethical business scenarios. However, several important relationships were uncovered between individual differences and moral disengagement. Among them, aggression, cynical views of humankind, and being reserved (or “aloof”) positively related to moral disengagement, while conscientiousness and empathy exhibited negative relationships. Interestingly, the callous affect subscale of psychopathy also negatively related to moral disengagement. Furthermore, an exploratory analysis was conducted to assess differential relationships for each of the eight moral disengagement techniques. The implications of these results for future research on situational and individual antecedents of moral disengagement are discussed.