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The Big 5 Personality Traits and Willingness to Justify Unethical Behavior—A Cross-National Examination

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A Correction to this article was published on 28 March 2019

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Abstract

In this paper, we examine the relationships between three of the Big 5 personality traits (conscientiousness, openness to experience, and agreeableness) and willingness to justify unethical behavior. We also consider the moderating relationship of four of the GLOBE cultural dimensions (institutional collectivism, humane orientation, performance orientation, and assertiveness) on the above relationship. We tested our propositions on a sample of 38,655 individuals from 23 different countries obtained from the latest data available from the World Values Survey Group’s survey (WVS 2014). We found that conscientiousness and agreeableness were both negatively associated with willingness to justify unethical behavior. We also conducted Hierarchical Linear Modeling and found significant interaction effects of selected GLOBE cultural dimensions (humane orientation, assertiveness, institutional collectivism, and performance orientation) on the relationships between personality traits and willingness to justify unethical behavior. We provide managerial implications of our findings, as well as suggestions for future research.

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Change history

  • 28 March 2019

    The name of the second author was incorrect in the initial online publication. The original article has been corrected.

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Simha, A., Parboteeah, K.P. The Big 5 Personality Traits and Willingness to Justify Unethical Behavior—A Cross-National Examination. J Bus Ethics 167, 451–471 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04142-7

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