Skip to main content

When and How Underdog Expectations Promote Cheating Behavior: The Roles of Need Fulfillment and General Self-efficacy

Abstract

Extant research has demonstrated that underdog expectations—individuals’ perceptions that others view them as unlikely to succeed—can have positive implications for motivating performance. In this paper, we draw on self-determination theory to examine how and when underdog expectations can have detrimental consequences for both the employee and the organization. Specifically, we propose that underdog expectations can decrease employees’ need fulfillment, which in turn leads to more cheating behavior. Furthermore, we theorize that the indirect effect of underdog expectations on cheating behavior via need fulfillment is weaker when general self-efficacy is high than when it is low. Results from two studies using complementary designs support our predictions. Overall, our research demonstrates a potential dark side to underdog expectations and also contributes to the behavioral ethics literature.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Notes

  1. 1.

    Following recent research (Nurmohamed, 2020), we use the terms underdog expectations and low expectations interchangeably in this article.

  2. 2.

    In line with other management scholars who conducted both between-person and within-person analyses to develop theories (e.g., Koopman et al., 2020; Troester & Quaquebeke, 2020; Watkins & Umphress, 2020; Zhang, Mayer, & Hwang, 2018), we do not take a stand on whether underdog expectations should be examined at a given level (i.e., between- or within-person). We do, however, believe that the theoretical linkages of variables in our model can be tested at both levels (i.e., Study 1 and Study 2), and that similar findings should emerge.

  3. 3.

    While rivalry and underdog expectations can be driven by subjective conditions and be socially constructed, they are theoretically distinct. For instance, rivalry occurs among dyads, whereas underdog expectations arise from target groups. In addition, underdog expectations can exist in the absence of a rivalry, and vice versa (Nurmohamed, 2014).

  4. 4.

    Because the control group included both neutral and favorite conditions, we separated these two conditions and reran the model. Results indicated that the indirect effect from underdog expectations to cheating through need fulfillment was significant when general self-efficacy was low (underdog condition vs. favorable condition: coefficient = .162; 95% CI [.021, .405]; underdog condition vs. neutral condition: coefficient = .177; 95% CI [.036, .405), but it was not significant when general self-efficacy was high (underdog condition vs. favorable condition: coefficient = -.047; 95% CI [− .215, .056]; underdog condition vs. neutral condition: coefficient = .063; 95% CI [− .027, .259).

  5. 5.

    We took several steps to ensure the quality of our data. First, we blocked duplicate IP addresses and suspicious geocode locations. Second, we added attention check items to our recruitment survey. We did not invite those participants to complete the weekly surveys if they failed to pass an attention check.

  6. 6.

    Our conceptualization of need fulfillment includes competence needs, relatedness needs, and autonomy needs, which may be differentially affected by underdog expectations. To explore this possibility, we separated different categories of needs and constructed 95% confidence intervals for the indirect effects. The indirect relationship between underdog expectations and cheating was mediated by competence needs and relatedness needs in Study 2 only; in addition, self-efficacy moderated these indirect relationships. We did not observe any significant indirect and conditional indirect effects in Study 1. One possible reason for these results might be insufficient power. To increase statistical power, we used 90% confidence intervals corresponding to one-tailed tests, α = .05 and reran the model. Across Study 1 and Study 2, we found that the relationship between underdog expectations and cheating was mediated by competence needs and relatedness needs, and the indirect effect was significant only when general self-efficacy was low. We observed that autonomy needs mediated the relationship between underdog expectations and cheating only in Study 1; moreover, self-efficacy did not moderate this indirect relationship.

References

  1. Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2004). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and weil-being in two work settings 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(10), 2045–2068. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02690.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Babad, E. Y., Inbar, J., & Rosenthal, R. (1982). Pygmalion, Galatea, and the Golem: Investigations of biased and unbiased teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74(4), 459–474. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.74.4.459

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Baer, M., Leenders, R. T. A. J., Oldham, G. R., & Vadera, A. K. (2010). Win or lose the battle for creativity: The power and perils of intergroup competition. Academy of Management Journal, 53(4), 827–845. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2010.52814611

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Baron, R. A., Tang, J., Tang, Z., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Bribes as entrepreneurial actions: Why underdog entrepreneurs feel compelled to use them. Journal of Business Venturing, 33(6), 679–690. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2018.04.011

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Baumeister, R. F. (2001). Ego depletion, the executive function, and self-control: An energy model of the self in personality. In Personality psychology in the workplace (pp. 299–316). American Psychological Association.

  6. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Beal, D. J. (2015). ESM 2.0: State of the art and future potential of experience sampling methods in organizational research. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2(1), 383–407. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-032414-111335

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Becker, T. E. (2005). Potential problems in the statistical control of variables in organizational research: A qualitative analysis with recommendations. Organizational Research Methods, 8(3), 274–289.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Berry, C., Ones, D., & Sackett, P. (2007). Interpersonal deviance, organizational deviance, and their common correlates: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(2), 410–424. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.2.410

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Bolger, N., & Laurenceau, J.-P. (2013). Methodology in the social sciences: Intensive longitudinal methods: An introduction to diary and experience sampling research. Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Brewer, J. (2016). 3 Reasons Why Being An Underdog Is Your Secret Weapon. Retrieved from https://addicted2success.com/success-advice/3-reasons-why-being-an-underdog-is-your-secret-weapon/

  12. Brewer, M., & Weber, J. (1994). Self-evaluation effects of interpersonal versus intergroup social comparison. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(2), 268–275. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.66.2.268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Brown, J. D., Novick, N. J., Lord, K. A., & Richards, J. M. (1992). When Gulliver travels: Social context, psychological closeness, and self-appraisals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62(5), 717–727. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.62.5.717

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Bureau, J. S., & Mageau, G. A. (2014). Parental autonomy support and honesty: The mediating role of identification with the honesty value and perceived costs and benefits of honesty. Journal of Adolescence, 37(3), 225–236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.12.007

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Carpenter, N. C., Rangel, B., Jeon, G., & Cottrell, J. (2017). Are supervisors and coworkers likely to witness employee counterproductive work behavior? An investigation of observability and self–observer convergence. Personnel Psychology, 70(4), 843–889. https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12210

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Carver, C., & Scheier, M. (1990). Principles of self-regulation: Action and emotion. In E. T. H. R. M. Sorrentino (Ed.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (Vol. 2, pp. 3–52). Guilford Press.

  17. Chen, G., Gully, S. M., & Eden, D. (2001). Validation of a new general self-efficacy scale. Organizational Research Methods, 4(1), 62–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/109442810141004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Chen, G., Gully, S. M., & Eden, D. (2004). General self-efficacy and self-esteem: Toward theoretical and empirical distinction between correlated self-evaluations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3), 375–395. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.251

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Dalal, R. S., Bhave, D. P., & Fiset, J. (2014). Within-Person variability in job performance: A theoretical review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1396–1436. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206314532691

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Davidson, O. B., & Eden, D. (2000). Remedial self-fulfilling prophecy: Two field experiments to prevent Golem effects among disadvantaged women. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(3), 386–398. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.85.3.386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The" what" and" why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Stillman, T. F., & Gailliot, M. T. (2007). Violence restrained: Effects of self-regulation and its depletion on aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(1), 62–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2005.12.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Doyle, D. S. P., Pettit, D. N. C., Kim, M. S., To, D. C., & Lount, D. R. (2021). Surging underdogs and slumping favorites: How recent streaks and future expectations drive competitive transgressions. Academy of Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2019.1008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Eden, D. (1992). Leadership and expectations: Pygmalion effects and other self-fulfilling prophecies in organizations. The Leadership Quarterly, 3(4), 271–305. https://doi.org/10.1016/1048-9843(92)90018-B

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Eden, D., & Aviram, A. (1993). Self-efficacy training to speed reemployment: Helping people to help themselves. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(3), 352–360. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.78.3.352

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Eden, D., & Kinnar, J. (1991). Modeling Galatea: Boosting self-efficacy to increase volunteering. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(6), 770–780. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.6.770

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Eden, D., & Zuk, Y. (1995). Seasickness as a self-fulfilling prophecy: Raising self-efficacy to boost performance at sea. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(5), 628–635. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.80.5.628

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Edwards, J. R., & Lambert, L. S. (2007). Methods for integrating moderation and mediation: A general analytical framework using moderated path analysis. Psychological Methods, 12(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.12.1.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Fast, N. J., Sivanathan, N., Mayer, N. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2012). Power and overconfident decision-making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 117(2), 249–260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.11.009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Ferris, D. L., Brown, D. J., Berry, J. W., & Lian, H. (2008). The development and validation of the Workplace Ostracism Scale. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(6), 1348–1366. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012743

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Finn, K. V., & Frone, M. R. (2004). Academic performance and cheating: Moderating role of school identification and self-efficacy. The Journal of Educational Research, 97(3), 115–121. https://doi.org/10.3200/JOER.97.3.115-121

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Flanagan, J. C. (1954). The critical incident technique. Psychological Bulletin, 51(4), 327–358. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0061470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Frazier, J., & Snyder, E. (1991). The Underdog Concept in Sport. Sociology of Sport Journal, 8(4), 380–388. https://doi.org/10.1123/ssj.8.4.380

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Gabriel, A. S., Podsakoff, N. P., Beal, D. J., Scott, B. A., Sonnentag, S., Trougakos, J. P., & Butts, M. M. (2019). Experience sampling methods: A discussion of critical trends and considerations for scholarly advancement. Organizational Research Methods, 22(4), 969–1006. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094428118802626

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(4), 331–362. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.322

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2014). The history of self-determination theory in psychology and management. In M. Gagné (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of work engagement, motivation, and self-determination theory (pp. 1–9). Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Gagné, M., Senécal, C. B., & Koestner, R. (1997). Proximal job characteristics, feelings of empowerment, and intrinsic motivation: A multidimensional model 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27(14), 1222–1240. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1997.tb01803.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Gino, F., & Margolis, J. D. (2011). Bringing ethics into focus: How regulatory focus and risk preferences influence (un) ethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115(2), 145–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.01.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Gladwell, M. (2009). How David beats goliath. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/05/11/how-david-beats-goliath

  40. Huang, G.-H., Wellman, N., Ashford, S. J., Lee, C., & Wang, L. (2017). Deviance and exit: The organizational costs of job insecurity and moral disengagement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(1), 26–42. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000158

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Huang, J. L., Chiaburu, D. S., Zhang, X. A., Li, N., & Grandey, A. A. (2015). Rising to the challenge: Deep acting is more beneficial when tasks are appraised as challenging. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(5), 1398–1408. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0038976

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Ilies, R., Lanaj, K., Pluut, H., & Goh, Z. (2018). Intrapersonal and interpersonal need fulfillment at work: Differential antecedents and incremental validity in explaining job satisfaction and citizenship behavior. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 108, 151–164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2018.07.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Jerusalem, M., & Schwarzer, R. (1992). Self-efficacy as a resource factor in stress appraisal processes. In R. Schwarzer (Ed.), Self-efficacy: Thought control of action (pp. 195–213). Hemisphere.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Jex, S. M., & Gudanowski, D. M. (1992). Efficacy beliefs and work stress: An exploratory study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13(5), 509–517. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.4030130506

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Kahn, R. L., & Byosiere, P. (1992). Stress in organizations Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology, 2nd edn. (Vol. 3, pp. 571–650). Consulting Psychologists Press.

  46. Kanat-Maymon, Y., Benjamin, M., Stavsky, A., Shoshani, A., & Roth, G. (2015). The role of basic need fulfillment in academic dishonesty: A self-determination theory perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 43, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2015.08.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Kenny, D. A. (2015). Measuring model fit. Retrieved from http://davidakenny.net/cm/fit.htm.

  48. Kern, M. C., & Chugh, D. (2009). Bounded ethicality: The perils of loss framing. Psychological Science, 20(3), 378–384. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02296.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Kierein, N. M., & Gold, M. A. (2000). Pygmalion in work organizations: A meta-analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(8), 913–928.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Kilduff, G. J., Galinsky, A. D., Gallo, E., & Reade, J. J. (2016). Whatever it takes to win: Rivalry increases unethical behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 59(5), 1508–1534. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2014.0545

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. Guilford Publications.

  52. Koopman, J., Rosen, C. C., Gabriel, A. S., Puranik, H., Johnson, R. E., & Ferris, D. L. (2020). Why and for whom does the pressure to help hurt others? Affective and cognitive mechanisms linking helping pressure to workplace deviance. Personnel Psychology, 73(2), 333–362. https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12354

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Kouchaki, M., & Desai, S. D. (2015). Anxious, threatened, and also unethical: How anxiety makes individuals feel threatened and commit unethical acts. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(2), 360–375. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037796

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Kouchaki, M., & Smith, I. H. (2014). The morning morality effect: The influence of time of day on unethical behavior. Psychological Science, 25(1), 95–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Kraimer, M. L., Wayne, S. J., Liden, R. C., & Sparrowe, R. T. (2005). The role of job security in understanding the relationship between employees’ perceptions of temporary workers and employees’ performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(2), 389–398. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.90.2.389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. La Guardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(3), 367–384. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.79.3.367

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Lanaj, K., Johnson, R. E., & Lee, S. M. (2016). Benefits of transformational behaviors for leaders: A daily investigation of leader behaviors and need fulfillment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(2), 237–251. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000052

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Leavitt, K., Barnes, C. M., Watkins, T., & Wagner, D. T. (2019). From the bedroom to the office: Workplace spillover effects of sexual activity at home. Journal of Management, 45(3), 1173–1192. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206317698022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Lian, H., Ferris, D. L., & Brown, D. J. (2012). Does taking the good with the bad make things worse? How abusive supervision and leader–member exchange interact to impact need satisfaction and organizational deviance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 117(1), 41–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.10.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Litman, L., Robinson, J., & Abberbock, T. (2017). TurkPrime.com: A versatile crowdsourcing data acquisition platform for the behavioral sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 49(2), 433–442. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-016-0727-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Little, T. (2013). Longitudinal structural equation modeling. Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Little, T., Cunningham, W., Shahar, G., & Widaman, K. (2002). To Parcel or not to parcel: Exploring the question, weighing the merits. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 9(2), 151–173. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15328007SEM0902_1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Lount, R. B., Pettit, N. C., & Doyle, S. P. (2017). Motivating underdogs and favorites. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 141, 82–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.06.003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Lu, J. G., Quoidbach, J., Gino, F., Chakroff, A., Maddux, W. W., & Galinsky, A. D. (2017). The dark side of going abroad: How broad foreign experiences increase immoral behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000068

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Manzoni, J.-F., & Barsoux, J.-L. (1998). Inside the Golem effect: How bosses can kill their subordinates' motivation. INSEAD.

  66. McLeod, S. H. (1995). Pygmalion or golem? Teacher affect and efficacy. College Composition and Communication, 46(3), 369–386. https://doi.org/10.2307/358711

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. McNatt, D. B. (2000). Ancient Pygmalion joins contemporary management: A meta-analysis of the result. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(2), 314–322. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.85.2.314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Mitchell, M. S., Baer, M. D., Ambrose, M. L., Folger, R., & Palmer, N. F. (2018). Cheating under pressure: A self-protection model of workplace cheating behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(1), 54–73. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000254

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Mitchell, M. S., Greenbaum, R. L., Vogel, R. M., Mawritz, M. B., & Keating, D. J. (2019). Can you handle the pressure? The effect of performance pressure on stress appraisals, self-regulation, and behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 62(2), 531–552. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2016.0646

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Mitchell, M. S., Vogel, R. M., & Folger, R. (2015). Third parties’ reactions to the abusive supervision of coworkers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(4), 1040–1055. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Moon, S. H., Scullen, S. E., & Latham, G. P. (2016). Precarious curve ahead: The effects of forced distribution rating systems on job performance. Human Resource Management Review, 26(2), 166–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2015.12.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Moore, C., & Gino, F. (2013). Ethically adrift: How others pull our moral compass from true North, and how we can fix it. Research in Organizational Behavior, 33, 53–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.riob.2013.08.001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Morgeson, F. P., Campion, M. A., Dipboye, R. L., Hollenbeck, J. R., Murphy, K., & Schmitt, N. (2007). Reconsidering the use of personality tests in personnel selection contexts. Personnel Psychology, 60(3), 683–729. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00089.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Murphy, S. E., & Johnson, S. K. (2016). Leadership and leader developmental self-efficacy: Their role in enhancing leader development efforts. New Directions for Student Leadership, 2016(149), 73–84. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.20163

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Muthén, B. (2017). Mplus user’s guide, 7 edn. Muthén & Muthén, 1998–2012.

  76. Nease, A. A., Mudgett, B. O., & Quiñones, M. A. (1999). Relationships among feedback sign, self-efficacy, and acceptance of performance feedback. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(5), 806–814. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.84.5.806

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Neuberg, S. L., & Schaller, M. (2015). Evolutionary social cognition APA handbook of personality and social psychology, Volume 1: Attitudes and social cognition. (pp. 3–45). American Psychological Association.

  78. Nguyen, H.-H.D., & Ryan, A. M. (2008). Does stereotype threat affect test performance of minorities and women? A meta-analysis of experimental evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(6), 1314–1334. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012702

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Nurmohamed, S. (2014). Over or Under? The Motivational Implications of an Underdog Image. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  80. Nurmohamed, S. (2020). The underdog effect: When low expectations increase performance. Academy of Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2017.0181

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Nurmohamed, S., Kundro, T. G., & Myers, C. G. (2021). Against the odds: Developing underdog versus favorite narratives to offset prior experiences of discrimination. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2021.04.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Paharia, N., Keinan, A., Avery, J., & Schor, J. B. (2010). The underdog effect: The marketing of disadvantage and determination through brand biography. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(5), 775–790. https://doi.org/10.1086/656219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Park, Y., Liu, Y., & Headrick, L. (2020). When work is wanted after hours: testing weekly stress of information communication technology demands using boundary theory. Journal of Organizational Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2461

    Article  Google Scholar 

  84. Parker, S. K. (1998). Enhancing role breadth self-efficacy: The roles of job enrichment and other organizational interventions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(6), 835–852. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.83.6.835

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Patrick, H., Knee, C. R., Canevello, A., & Lonsbary, C. (2007). The role of need fulfillment in relationship functioning and well-being: A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(3), 434–457. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.92.3.434

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Pearce, J., & Gregersen, H. (1991). Task interdependence and extrarole behavior: A test of the mediating effects of felt responsibility. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(6), 838–844. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.6.838

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. Peer, E., Brandimarte, L., Samat, S., & Acquisti, A. (2017). Beyond the Turk: Alternative platforms for crowdsourcing behavioral research. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70, 153–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.01.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Pierce, J., Kilduff, G., Galinsky, A., & Sivanathan, N. (2013). From glue to gasoline: How competition turns perspective takers unethical. Psychological Science, 24(10), 1986–1994. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613482144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Podsakoff, P., & MacKenzie, S. (1989). A second generation measure of organizational citizenship behavior. Unpublished manuscript, Indiana University, Bloomington, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship.

  90. Podsakoff, P., MacKenzie, S., & Podsakoff, N. (2012). Sources of method bias in social science research and recommendations on how to control it. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 539–569. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100452

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Preacher, K. J., Curran, P. J., & Bauer, D. J. (2006). Computational tools for probing interactions in multiple linear regression, multilevel modeling, and latent curve analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 31(4), 437–448. https://doi.org/10.3102/10769986031004437

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., & Hayes, A. F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: Theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 42(1), 185–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/00273170701341316

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (Vol. 1). Sage.

  94. Richards, K. (2017). How Avis Brilliantly Pioneered Underdog Advertising With ‘We Try Harder’. Retrieved from https://www.adweek.com/creativity/how-avis-brilliantly-pioneered-underdog-advertising-with-we-try-harder/

  95. Rodell, J. B., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Can “good” stressors spark “bad” behaviors? The mediating role of emotions in links of challenge and hindrance stressors with citizenship and counterproductive behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), 1438–1451. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0016752

    Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2002). Overview of self-determination theory: An organismic-dialectical perspective. In Handbook of self-determination research. (pp. 3–33). University of Rochester Press.

  98. Saks, A. M., & Ashforth, B. E. (2000). The role of dispositions, entry stressors, and behavioral plasticity theory in predicting newcomers’ adjustment to work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21(1), 43–62. https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1099-1379(200002)21:1<43::Aid-job985>3.0.Co;2-w

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Sanders, S., Wisse, B., Van Yperen, N. W., & Rus, D. (2018). On ethically solvent leaders: The roles of pride and moral identity in predicting leader ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 150(3), 631–645. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3180-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Satorra, A., & Bentler, P. (2010). Ensuring positiveness of the scaled difference Chi-square test statistic. Psychometrika, 75(2), 243–248. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11336-009-9135-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  101. Schmader, T., Johns, M., & Forbes, C. (2008). An integrated process model of stereotype threat effects on performance. Psychological Review, 115(2), 336–356. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.115.2.336

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Schwartz, B. (1987). The battle for human nature: Science, morality and modern life. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  103. Schweitzer, M. E., Ordóñez, L., & Douma, B. (2004). Goal setting as a motivator of unethical behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 422–432. https://doi.org/10.5465/20159591

    Article  Google Scholar 

  104. Selig, J. P., & Preacher, K. J. (2009). Mediation models for longitudinal data in developmental research. Research in Human Development, 6(2–3), 144–164. https://doi.org/10.1080/15427600902911247

    Article  Google Scholar 

  105. Sheldon, K. M., & Niemiec, C. P. (2006). It’s not just the amount that counts: Balanced need satisfaction also affects well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(2), 331–341. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.91.2.331

    Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Skinner, E. A. (1995). Perceived control, motivation, & coping. Sage.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  107. Stajkovic, A. D., & Luthans, F. (1998). Self-efficacy and work-related performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 124(2), 240–261. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.124.2.240

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. Stupak, O. (2018). Multi-stage contest with cheating. (Working Paper). Retrieved from https://www.cybersecurity.ox.ac.uk/site-resources/uploads/2020/02/02-18.pdf

  109. Tasselli, S., Kilduff, M., & Landis, B. (2018). Personality Change: Implications for Organizational Behavior. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 467–493. https://doi.org/10.5465/annals.2016.0008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  110. ten Brummelhuis, L. L., & Greenhaus, J. H. (2018). How role jugglers maintain relationships at home and at work: A gender comparison. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(12), 1265–1282. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000340

    Article  Google Scholar 

  111. Thau, S., Aquino, K., & Poortvliet, P. M. (2007). Self-defeating behaviors in organizations: The relationship between thwarted belonging and interpersonal work behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(3), 840–847. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.92.3.840

    Article  Google Scholar 

  112. Tofighi, D., & MacKinnon, D. P. (2011). RMediation: An R package for mediation analysis confidence intervals. Behavior Research Methods, 43(3), 692–700. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-011-0076-x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. Tofighi, D., & Thoemmes, F. (2014). Single-level and multilevel mediation analysis. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 34(1), 93–119.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  114. Tracy, J. L., & Robins, R. W. (2007). The psychological structure of pride: A tale of two facets. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(3), 506–525. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.92.3.506

    Article  Google Scholar 

  115. Treviño, L. K., den Nieuwenboer, N. A., & Kish-Gephart, J. J. (2014). (Un)Ethical behavior in organizations. Annual Review of Psychology, 65(1), 635–660. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143745

    Article  Google Scholar 

  116. Troester, C., & Quaquebeke, N. V. (2020). When victims help their abusive supervisors: The role of LMX, self-blame, and guilt. Academy of Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2019.0559

    Article  Google Scholar 

  117. Tyler, T., Degoey, P., & Smith, H. (1996). Understanding why the justice of group procedures matters: A test of the psychological dynamics of the group-value model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(5), 913–930. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.70.5.913

    Article  Google Scholar 

  118. Uysal, A., Lee Lin, H., & Raymond Knee, C. (2010). The Role of need satisfaction in self-concealment and well-being. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(2), 187–199. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167209354518

    Article  Google Scholar 

  119. Van den Broeck, A., Vansteenkiste, M., De Witte, H., & Lens, W. (2008). Explaining the relationships between job characteristics, burnout, and engagement: The role of basic psychological need satisfaction. Work & Stress, 22(3), 277–294. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678370802393672

    Article  Google Scholar 

  120. Vandello, J. A., Goldschmied, N., & Michniewicz, K. (2016). Underdogs as heroes. In S. Allison, R. Kramer, & G. Goethals (Eds.), Handbook of heroism and heroic leadership (pp. 339–355). Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  121. Vander Elst, T., Van den Broeck, A., De Witte, H., & De Cuyper, N. (2012). The mediating role of frustration of psychological needs in the relationship between job insecurity and work-related well-being. Work & Stress, 26(3), 252–271. https://doi.org/10.1080/02678373.2012.703900

    Article  Google Scholar 

  122. Walter, S., Seibert, S., Goering, D. D., & O'Boyle, E. H. (2016). An examination of the convergence of online panel data and conventionally sourced data. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Proceedings.

  123. Wang, M., Liao, H., Zhan, Y., & Shi, J. (2011). Daily customer mistreatment and employee sabotage against customers: Examining emotion and resource perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 54(2), 312–334. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2011.60263093

    Article  Google Scholar 

  124. Warner, L. M., Ziegelmann, J. P., Schüz, B., Wurm, S., Tesch-Römer, C., & Schwarzer, R. (2011). Maintaining autonomy despite multimorbidity: Self-efficacy and the two faces of social support. European Journal of Ageing, 8(1), 3–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-011-0176-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  125. Watkins, T. (2020). Workplace interpersonal capitalization: Employee reactions to coworker positive event disclosures. Academy of Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2018.1339

    Article  Google Scholar 

  126. Watkins, T., & Umphress, E. E. (2020). Strong body, clear mind: Physical activity diminishes the effects of supervisor interpersonal injustice. Personnel Psychology, n/a(n/a). https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12384

  127. Welsh, D. T., & Ordóñez, L. D. (2014). The dark side of consecutive high performance goals: Linking goal setting, depletion, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 123(2), 79–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.07.006

    Article  Google Scholar 

  128. Yip, J. A., Schweitzer, M. E., & Nurmohamed, S. (2018). Trash-talking: Competitive incivility motivates rivalry, performance, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 144, 125–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.06.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  129. Zhang, C., Mayer, D. M., & Hwang, E. (2018). More is less: Learning but not relaxing buffers deviance under job stressors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103(2), 123–136. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  130. Zhao, X., Lynch, J. G., Jr., & Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(2), 197–206. https://doi.org/10.1086/651257

    Article  Google Scholar 

  131. Zhou, X., Vohs, K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (2009). The symbolic power of money: Reminders of money alter social distress and physical pain. Psychological Science, 20(6), 700–706. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02353.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  132. Zou, X., Scholer, A. A., & Higgins, E. T. (2014). In pursuit of progress: Promotion motivation and risk preference in the domain of gains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(2), 183–201. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035391

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities and the Research Funds of Renmin University of China (21XNF029).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zhiyu Feng.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Loi, T.I., Feng, Z., Kuhn, K.M. et al. When and How Underdog Expectations Promote Cheating Behavior: The Roles of Need Fulfillment and General Self-efficacy. J Bus Ethics (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-021-04976-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Underdog
  • Low expectation
  • Cheating behavior
  • Need fulfillment
  • Self-determination theory