Title

Fairness, Feelings, and Ethical Decision Making: Consequences of Violating Community Standards of Fairness

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

In this article, we describe the influence of violations of community standards of fairness (Kahneman, Knetsch, and Thaler, 1986a) on subsequent ethical decision-making and emotions. Across two studies, we manipulated explanations for a common action, and we find that explanations that violate community standards of fairness (e.g., by taking advantage of an increase in market power) lead to greater intentions to behave unethically than explanations that are consistent with community standards of fairness (e.g., by passing along a price increase). We find that perceptions of justifiability mediate this relationship. We also find that individuals derive significant psychological benefits (greater satisfaction, greater happiness, and reduced anger) from engaging in unethical behavior following perceived violations of fairness.

Comments

Copyright 2008 Springer, Journal of Business Ethics

Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Published Citation

Schweitzer, Maurice; Gibson, Donald E.. 'Fairness, Feelings, and Ethical Decision Making: Consequences of Violating Community Standards of Fairness.' Journal of Business Ethics 77.3 (2008): 287-301.

DOI

10.1007/s10551-007-9350-3

Peer Reviewed