Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 123, Issue 2, pp 197–219

Temptation, Monetary Intelligence (Love of Money), and Environmental Context on Unethical Intentions and Cheating


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1783-2

Cite this article as:
Chen, J., Tang, T.LP. & Tang, N. J Bus Ethics (2014) 123: 197. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1783-2


In Study 1, we test a theoretical model involving temptation, monetary intelligence (MI), a mediator, and unethical intentions and investigate the direct and indirect paths simultaneously based on multiple-wave panel data collected in open classrooms from 492 American and 256 Chinese students. For the whole sample, temptation is related to low unethical intentions indirectly. Multi-group analyses reveal that temptation predicts unethical intentions both indirectly and directly for male American students only; but not for female American students. For Chinese students, both paths are non-significant. Love of money contributes significantly to MI for all students. In Study 2, using money as a temptation and giving them opportunities to cheat on a matrix task, most Chinese students (78.4 %) do not cheat in open classrooms; supporting survey and structural equation modeling (SEM) results in Study 1. However, students in private cubicles cheat significantly more (53.4 %) than those in open classrooms (21.6 %). Finally, students’ love of money attitude predicts cheating. Factor rich predicts the cheating amount, whereas factor motivator predicts the cheating percentage. Our results shed new light on the impact of temptation and love of money as dispositional traits, money as a temptation, and environmental context (public vs. private) on unethical intentions and cheating behaviors.


TemptationDispositional traitMonetary intelligence (MI)Love of moneyEnvironmental contextPublic vs. privateUnethical intentionsCheatingGenderCross-culturalMultiple-panelSelf-controlCognitive impairmentGood/bad apples/barrels

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingqiu Chen
    • 1
  • Thomas Li-Ping Tang
    • 2
  • Ningyu Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management and Organization, Antai College of Economics & ManagementShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of Management and Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of BusinessMiddle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA