Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 601–613 | Cite as

Religiosity and Moral Identity: The Mediating Role of Self-Control

  • Scott John Vitell
  • Mark N. Bing
  • H. Kristl Davison
  • Anthony P. Ammeter
  • Bart L. Garner
  • Milorad M. Novicevic


The ethics literature has identified moral motivation as a factor in ethical decision-making. Furthermore, moral identity has been identified as a source of moral motivation. In the current study, we examine religiosity as an antecedent to moral identity and examine the mediating role of self-control in this relationship. We find that intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of religiosity have different direct and indirect effects on the internalization and symbolization dimensions of moral identity. Specifically, intrinsic religiosity plays a role in counterbalancing the negative impact of extrinsic religiosity on the internalization of moral identity. Further, intrinsic religiosity also counterbalances the negative and indirect impact of extrinsic religiosity on symbolization of moral identity via self-control. Lastly, self-control does not play a mediating role in the impact of religiosity on the internalization dimension of moral identity. We conclude that this study presents important findings that advance our understanding of the antecedents of moral identity, and that these results may have implications for the understanding of ethical decision-making.


ethics religiosity moral identity self-control 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott John Vitell
    • 1
  • Mark N. Bing
    • 1
  • H. Kristl Davison
    • 1
  • Anthony P. Ammeter
    • 1
  • Bart L. Garner
    • 1
  • Milorad M. Novicevic
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MississippiOxfordU.S.A.

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