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The role of organizational culture in the relationship between affective organizational commitment and unethical pro-organizational behavior

Julia A. Fulmore (College of Business, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, USA)
Kim Nimon (Department of Human Resource Development, Soules College of Business, The University of Texas at Tyler, Tyler, Texas, USA)
Thomas Reio (Department of Educational Policy Studies, Florida International University, North Miami, Florida, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 22 April 2024

179

Abstract

Purpose

This study responded to the call to empirically reconcile conflicting findings in unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB) literature. It did so by examining the influence of organizational culture on the relationship between affective organizational commitment and UPB.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 710 U.S. service sector employees based on a three-wave data collection design, structural invariance assessment was utilized to evaluate the relationship between affective organizational commitment and UPB across organizational cultures with opposing effectiveness criteria (i.e. focused on stability vs flexibility).

Findings

The result indicated a statistically significant positive direct effect between affective organizational commitment and UPB for the stability-focused cultures, while finding a statistically insignificant effect for the flexibility-focused cultures. These results support organizational culture research, which shows that organizational cultures with opposing effectiveness criteria (i.e. stability vs flexibility) can either encourage or discourage ethical behavior.

Practical implications

While leaders and managers encourage employee commitment to the organization, it is important to understand that increased organizational commitment is not limited to positive outcomes. Cultivating elements of flexibility-oriented cultures, like promoting teamwork (as in clan cultures) or fostering innovation and adaptability (as in adhocracy cultures), can be a strategic approach to minimize the chances of UPB among committed employees.

Originality/value

By integrating insights from social exchange theory, Trevino’s interactionist model and the competing values framework, we have contributed to a nuanced understanding of how different organizational cultures can suppress or stimulate UPB.

Keywords

Citation

Fulmore, J.A., Nimon, K. and Reio, T. (2024), "The role of organizational culture in the relationship between affective organizational commitment and unethical pro-organizational behavior", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-11-2022-0581

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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