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The role of moral disengagement in supply chain management research

David Eriksson ( University of Borås , Borås, Sweden)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




The study aims to explain the role of moral disengagement in supply chain management (SCM) research and the challenges that arise if the theory is used beyond its inherent limitations.


Conceptual paper based on how Bandura developed and used moral disengagement.


Moral disengagement can be used validly in SCM research. The theory should not to be applied to the supply chain itself, but SCM can be seen as an environment that is part of a reciprocal exchange, which shapes human behavior.

Research limitations/implications

The paper suggests a new theory for a better understanding of business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability in SCM. Furthermore, the paper outlines how the theory should be used and some challenges that remain.


SCM researchers have shown how to apply a theory from psychology to SCM, which could progress to several areas of the research field. The paper also highlights an inconsistency in the use of the theory and explains how it should be used in SCM research.



Eriksson, D. (2016), "The role of moral disengagement in supply chain management research", European Business Review, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 274-284.



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