Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 235-244

First online:

Negative Affect and Counterproductive Workplace Behavior: The Moderating Role of Moral Disengagement and Gender

  • Al-Karim SamnaniAffiliated withSchool of Human Resource Management, York UniversityOdette School of Business, University of Windsor Email author 
  • , Sabrina Deutsch SalamonAffiliated withSchool of Administrative Studies, York University
  • , Parbudyal SinghAffiliated withSchool of Human Resource Management, York University

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


There has been growing scholarly interest in understanding individual-level antecedents of counterproductive workplace behavior (CWB). While researchers have found a positive relationship between individuals’ negative affect and engagement in CWB, to date, our understanding of the factors which may affect this relationship is limited. In this study, we investigate the moderating roles of moral disengagement and gender in this relationship. Consistent with our hypotheses, we found that individuals with a greater tendency to experience negative emotions were more likely to engage in CWB when they had a higher propensity to morally disengage. Moreover, we found that this interacting relationship varied across men and women. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings and offer avenues for future research.


Counterproductive workplace behaviors Moral disengagement Gender Deviance