Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 865-887

First online:

To Help or Not to Help? The Good Samaritan Effect and the Love of Money on Helping Behavior

  • Thomas Li-Ping TangAffiliated withDepartment of Management & Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University Email author 
  • , Toto SutarsoAffiliated withInformation Technology Division, Middle Tennessee State University
  • , Grace Mei-Tzu Wu DavisAffiliated withEureka Globalization & Development Co
  • , Dariusz DolinskiAffiliated withWarsaw School of Social Psychology, Wroclaw Faculty
  • , Abdul Hamid Safwat IbrahimAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, College of Social Sciences, Iman University
  • , Sharon Lynn WagnerAffiliated withGenentech, Inc.

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This research tests a model of employee helping behavior (a component of Organizational Citizenship Behavior, OCB) that involves a direct path (Intrinsic Motives → Helping Behavior, the Good Samaritan Effect) and an indirect path (the Love of Money → Extrinsic Motives → Helping Behavior). Results for the full sample supported the Good Samaritan Effect. Further, the love of money was positively related to extrinsic motives that were negatively related with helping behavior. We tested the model across four cultures (the USA., Taiwan, Poland, and Egypt). The Good Samaritan Effect was significant for all four countries. For the indirect path, the first part was significant for all countries, except Egypt, whereas the second part was significant for Poland only. For Poland, the indirect path was significant and positive. The love of money may cause one to help in one culture (Poland) but not to help in others. Results were discussed in the light of ethical decision making.


intrinsic altruistic motives extrinsic instrumental motives the Love of Money helping behavior organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) the Good Samaritan Effect the USA Taiwan Poland Egypt