Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 63–76

(Un)Ethical Behavior and Performance Appraisal: The Role of Affect, Support, and Organizational Justice

  • Gabriele Jacobs
  • Frank D. Belschak
  • Deanne N. Den Hartog
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1687-1

Cite this article as:
Jacobs, G., Belschak, F.D. & Den Hartog, D.N. J Bus Ethics (2014) 121: 63. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1687-1

Abstract

Performance appraisals are widely used as an HR instrument. This study among 332 police officers examines the effects of performance appraisals from a behavioral ethics perspective. A mediation model relating justice perceptions of police officers’ last performance appraisal to their work affect, perceived supervisor and organizational support and, in turn, their ethical (pro-organizational proactive) and unethical (counterproductive) work behavior was tested empirically. The relationship between justice perceptions and both, ethical and unethical behavior was mediated by perceived support and work affect. Hence, a singular yearly performance appraisal was linked to both ethical and unethical behaviors at work. The finding that ethical and unethical aspects of employee behavior share several of the same organizational antecedents, namely organizational justice perceptions, has strong practical implications which are discussed as well.

Keywords

Ethical behaviorCounterproductive work behaviorPerformance appraisalOrganizational justiceProactive behaviorWork affect

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriele Jacobs
    • 1
  • Frank D. Belschak
    • 2
  • Deanne N. Den Hartog
    • 2
  1. 1.Rotterdam School of ManagementErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Amsterdam Business SchoolUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands