Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 125, Issue 2, pp 329-348

First online:

Money is Power: Monetary Intelligence—Love of Money and Temptation of Materialism Among Czech University Students

  • Soňa LemrováAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Palacký University, Olomouc
  • , Eva ReiterováAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Palacký University, Olomouc
  • , Renáta FatěnováAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Palacký University, Olomouc
  • , Karel LemrAffiliated withRCPTM, Joint Laboratory of Optics of Palacký University and Institute of Physics of Czech Academy of Sciences, Faculty of Science, Palacký University, Olomouc
  • , Thomas Li-Ping TangAffiliated withDepartment of Management and Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University Email author 

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In this study, we develop a theoretical model of monetary intelligence (MI), explore the extent to which individuals’ meaning of money is related to the pursuit of materialistic purposes, and test our model using the whole sample and across college major and gender. We select the 15-item love of money (LOM) construct—Factors Good, Evil (Affective), Budget (Behavioral), Achievement, and Power (Cognitive)—from the Money Ethic Scale and Factors Success and Centrality and two indicators—from the Materialism Scale. Based on our data collected from 330 university students in Czech Republic, we provide the following findings. First, our formative models are superior to our reflective models. Second, for the reflective model, money represents Power, Good, Achievement, and not Evil, in the context of materialism. Our formative model suggests that those who pursuit materialism cherish Achievement (vanity) but Budget their money poorly. Third, multi-group analyses illustrate that humanities students (62.4 % female) consider money as Evil and Budget their money poorly, while those in natural sciences (37.6 % female) do not. Further, men are obsessed with Achievement, whereas women do not Budget their money properly, suggesting reflective temptation for males and impulsive temptation for females. Our novel discoveries shed new lights on the relationships between LOM and materialism and offer practical implications to the field of consumer behavior and business ethics.


Meaning of money Monetary intelligence Love of money (LOM) Materialism Power Budget Achievement Vanity Reflective-impulsive temptation Gender College major Czech Republic