Ethical Purchasing Dissonance: Antecedents and Coping Behaviors

  • Tim Reilly
  • Amit Saini
  • Jenifer SkibaEmail author
Original Paper


The pressure of oversight and scrutiny in the business-to-business purchasing process has the potential to cause psychological distress in purchasing professionals, giving rise to apprehensions about being ethically inappropriate. Utilizing depth interviews with public sector purchasing professionals in a phenomenological approach, the authors develop the notion of ethical purchasing dissonance to explain the psychological distress. An inductively derived conceptual framework is presented for ethical purchasing dissonance that explores its potential antecedents and consequences; illustrative propositions are presented, and managerial implications are discussed.


Cognitive dissonance Public sector Purchasing Ethical purchasing Ethical decision-making 



The authors thank the Layman award foundation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for their support for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jack Welch College of BusinessSacred Heart UniversityFairfieldUSA
  2. 2.College of Business AdministrationUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  3. 3.College of BusinessMissouri State UniversitySpringfieldUSA

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