Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 865–887 | Cite as

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

  • Thomas Li-Ping TangEmail author
  • Toto Sutarso
  • Grace Mei-Tzu Wu Davis
  • Dariusz Dolinski
  • Abdul Hamid Safwat Ibrahim
  • Sharon Lynn Wagner


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 


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The authors would like to thank Editor-in-Chief Alex␣C. Michalos, Thomas S. Bateman, Roy F. Baumeister, the late Father Wiatt Funk, Father James Kallarackan, and Father Mingel D’Souza for their encouragement and support, the Faculty Research & Creative Activity Committee of Middle Tennessee State University for the financial support, and James Van Buren for his assistance. All authors are arranged alphabetically after the two senior authors. The first author would like to dedicate this research article to the late Professor Kuan Ying Tang, especially in honoring his 100th birthday on October 10, 2007. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, August 11–14, 2002, Denver, CO.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Li-Ping Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toto Sutarso
    • 2
  • Grace Mei-Tzu Wu Davis
    • 3
  • Dariusz Dolinski
    • 4
  • Abdul Hamid Safwat Ibrahim
    • 5
  • Sharon Lynn Wagner
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Management & Marketing, Jennings A. Jones College of Business Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroU.S.A.
  2. 2.Information Technology Division Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroU.S.A.
  3. 3.Eureka Globalization & Development CoSwanseaU.S.A.
  4. 4.Warsaw School of Social Psychology Wroclaw FacultyWroclawPoland
  5. 5.Department of Psychology, College of Social SciencesIman UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  6. 6.Genentech, Inc.South San FranciscoU.S.A.

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