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Chapter 5 Feelings about ethical decisions: the emotions of moral residue

Emotions, Ethics and Decision-Making

ISBN: 978-1-84663-940-1, eISBN: 978-1-84663-941-8

Publication date: 25 July 2008


Scholars in philosophy have proposed that individuals who choose among two equally ethical alternatives will experience regret as a result of the “moral residue” that remains from not having been able to select both alternatives. Although posed and often discussed by philosophers, the veracity of this proposition has not been empirically tested. This chapter proposes a theoretical framework which synthesizes propositions from Philosophy with theory and research on emotions in the workplace to address questions concerning how the characteristics of ethical dilemmas give rise to different emotions, how the characteristics of employees affect the experience of emotions, and the consequences of the experience of emotions as a result of ethical decision making.


Zerbe, W.J. (2008), "Chapter 5 Feelings about ethical decisions: the emotions of moral residue", Zerbe, W.J., Härtel, C.E.J. and Ashkanasy, N.M. (Ed.) Emotions, Ethics and Decision-Making (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 109-129.



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