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1 – 10 of over 1000
Article
Publication date: 23 November 2018

Laura Munoz and Michael Mallin

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between salesperson role perceptions and use of neutralization techniques, given the relationship orientation of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between salesperson role perceptions and use of neutralization techniques, given the relationship orientation of the salesperson. Direct relationships between salesperson role conflict, role ambiguity, role task self-efficacy and a salesperson’s propensity to use neutralizations to attribute their unethical selling behavior are tested. The moderating effects of role-relationship orientation on the aforementioned relationships are also explored

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 163 (cross-industry, B2B/B2C non-retail) salespeople. Results were analyzed and seven hypotheses were tested using SmartPLS to estimate and evaluate a (partial least squares) structural model.

Findings

The study findings conclude that role ambiguity, role task self-efficacy and role relationship orientation directly impact a salesperson’s tendency to use neutralization techniques to justify unethical sales behavior. Role relationship orientation serves to moderate the relationship between role conflict and neutralization use.

Research limitations/implications

This research integrates attribution and role theories to isolate the conditions where salespeople are prone to use neutralization techniques to justify their unethical behavior. Salesperson role relationship orientation is explored to understand the moderating effects on the salesperson role–neutralization relationships.

Practical implications

Sales managers are provided guidance (e.g. training and coaching) to help salespeople navigate feelings of negative role perceptions (role conflict, role ambiguity, role self-efficacy) to minimize the impact on justification of unethical sales behaviors.

Originality/value

This research builds on the sales and ethics literatures by incorporating role and attribution theory to better understand how salespeople approach dealing with their own unethical behavior and the implications on maintaining relationships with their customers.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Gaurav Bansal, Steven Muzatko and Soo Il Shin

This study examines how neutralization strategies affect the efficacy of information system security policies. This paper proposes that neutralization strategies used to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines how neutralization strategies affect the efficacy of information system security policies. This paper proposes that neutralization strategies used to rationalize security policy noncompliance range across ethical orientations, extending from those helping the greatest number of people (ethics of care) to those damaging the fewest (ethics of justice). The results show how noncompliance differs between genders based on those ethical orientations.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was used to measure information system security policy noncompliance intentions across six different hypothetical scenarios involving neutralization techniques used to justify noncompliance. Data was gathered from students at a mid-western, comprehensive university in the United States.

Findings

The empirical analysis suggests that gender does play a role in information system security policy noncompliance. However, its significance is dependent upon the underlying neutralization method used to justify noncompliance. The role of reward and punishment is contingent on the situation-specific ethical orientation (SSEO) which in turn is a combination of internal ethical positioning based on one's gender and external ethical reasoning based on neutralization technique.

Originality/value

This study extends ethical decision-making theory by examining how the use of punishments and rewards might be more effective in security policy compliance based upon gender. Importantly, the study emphasizes the interplay between ethics, gender and neutralization techniques, as different ethical perspectives appeal differently based on gender.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 October 2020

Michael Olalekan Adeoti, Faridahwati Mohd Shamsudin and AlHamwan Mousa Mohammad

The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to examine the direct effect of the dimensions of opportunity (i.e. ethical climate and institutional policy) and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to examine the direct effect of the dimensions of opportunity (i.e. ethical climate and institutional policy) and dimensions of job pressure (i.e. workload and work pressure) on workplace deviance (i.e. organisational and interpersonal deviance) and (2) to assess the mediation of neutralisation in the relationship between the dimensions of opportunity, job pressure and workplace deviance.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study drew from the fraud triangle theory (FTT; Cressey, 1950) and the theory of neutralisation (Sykes and Matza, 1957) to achieve the research objectives. Survey data from 356 full-time faculty members in Nigerian public universities were collected. Partial least square-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was employed to analyse the data.

Findings

The results indicated that opportunity and job pressure significantly affected workplace deviance. As expected, neutralisation was found to mediate the negative relationship between ethical climate and interpersonal deviance and the positive relationship between workload, work pressure and interpersonal deviance. Contrary to expectation, neutralisation did not mediate the relationship between opportunity, pressure and organisational deviance.

Research limitations/implications

The sample was drawn from academics in public universities and the cross-sectional nature of this study means that the findings have limited generalisations.

Practical implications

This study offers insights into the management of Nigerian public universities on the need to curb workplace deviance amongst faculty members. This study recommends that the management improve the work environment by enhancing the ethical climate and institutional policies and reviewing the existing workload that may constitute pressure to the faculty members.

Originality/value

The present study provides empirical support for the fraud triangle theory and theory of neutralisation to explain workplace deviance.

Details

European Journal of Management and Business Economics, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2444-8451

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2020

Qirui Zhang, Xiaotao Yao, Xiao Wang and Tianyu Xiang

This study proposed and examined a unique but underresearched strategic response to coercive institutional pressure, covert neutralization, in which organizations…

Abstract

Purpose

This study proposed and examined a unique but underresearched strategic response to coercive institutional pressure, covert neutralization, in which organizations neutralize coercive institutional pressure by manipulating influential factors within their discretion while conforming to the pressure. In addition, this study pointed out that the extent of covert neutralization is contingent on organizational decision-makers' willingness and ability to take countermeasures.

Design/methodology/approach

To find evidence for covert neutralization and its strategic nature, a historical review with secondary data was conducted in the context of the coercive introduction of the independent director system in China. The board structure adjustments of 318 Chinese A-share listed companies from 2000 to 2004 were examined using univariate T-tests, robust ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models and ordered logit regression models to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This study found that in response to the coercive introduction of the independent director system, Chinese listed companies adjusted their board structures while conforming to the system, which neutralized the constraints on controlling shareholders' board control. Specifically, listed companies reduced the number of dependent directors and the ratio of directors representing noncontrolling shareholders to those representing controlling shareholders. Moreover, the extent of board structure adjustments was positively associated with the shareholding percentage of controlling shareholders. These findings provide evidence for covert neutralization and its strategic nature.

Practical implications

This study indicates the inefficacy of simple legal coercion and suggests that authorities should be aware of the covert countermeasures used by regulated organizations and employ normative approaches to improve the efficacy of regulations. This implication is rather instructive for regulators to effectively promote imposed changes in transitional economies with strong governments.

Originality/value

By differentiating conformity behavior from conformity inclination and considering the inevitable incompleteness of laws, this study challenges the conventional wisdom regarding organizational conformity and shows that organizations can strategically respond to coercive institutional pressure while conforming to it. In contrast to other strategic responses that aim to defy, avoid or resist the implementation (the means) of institutional pressure, covert neutralization aims to neutralize its efficacy (the ends).

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Øyvind Kvalnes

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the concept of honesty can shed light on misreporting issues in projects. Research on honesty can be useful for practitioners…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the concept of honesty can shed light on misreporting issues in projects. Research on honesty can be useful for practitioners and researchers in project management, in order to understand and counter the withholding and distortion of relevant information from projects. In moral psychology, dishonesty is often explained as a result of moral neutralization. The paper provides an account of how neutralization can lead to dishonesty in projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study is based on a literature review of research on misreporting and dishonesty in projects, and of relevant generic studies of honesty.

Findings

The author concludes that the phenomenon of moral neutralization can explain dishonesty and misreporting in projects. Honesty can be encouraged by identifying attempts at moral neutralization, and rendering them unacceptable. At the core of this position is the view that the level of honesty amongst project members is most adequately understood and explained from a circumstance rather than a character approach.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a literature review, and needs to be supported by further empirical studies within project management.

Practical implications

The suggested primacy of a circumstance approach to honesty implies that project practitioners should be aware of the phenomenon of moral neutralization. Even people of good moral character can become involved in neutralization, in order to render misreporting acceptable. The central practical challenge can thus be to recognize tendencies of neutralization in one's own and other people's moral reasoning.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to introduce the concept of honesty in general, and the concept of moral neutralization in particular, to project management research and practice. The paper also suggests concrete ways to redirect attention from character to circumstances, based on more general research findings in social and moral psychology.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Petter Gottschalk and Robert Smith

The purpose of this paper is to apply neutralization theory to white‐collar criminals to discuss criminal entrepreneurship.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply neutralization theory to white‐collar criminals to discuss criminal entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework of neutralization techniques is applied to criminal entrepreneurship and white‐collar criminality.

Findings

A legal entrepreneur is a person who operates a new enterprise or venture and assumes some accountability for the inherent risk. Similarly, the criminal entrepreneur's task is to discover and exploit opportunities, defined most simply as situations in which there are a profit to be made in criminal activity.

Research limitations/implications

Examples of criminal entrepreneurship committed by otherwise legal entrepreneurs are commonly labeled as white‐collar criminality. This paper discusses how criminal entrepreneurship by white‐collar criminals can be explained by neutralization theory, as white‐collar criminals tend to apply techniques of neutralization used by offenders to deny the criminality of their actions.

Practical implications

Policing white‐collar criminality should be expanded to understand criminal entrepreneurs when applying neutralization theory to deny crime activities.

Social implications

Neutralization theory illustrates how serious white‐collar crime is denied by the offender.

Originality/value

As can be seen by this brief discussion of criminal entrepreneurship, white‐collar criminality and corporate and organized crime, there is a need for a concentrated research effort to clarify and explain these conflated conflicts. By discussing them in context this paper has made a contribution to the literature by introducing the concepts of entrepreneurial leadership and entrepreneurial judgment into the debate. Moreover, in discussing neutralization theory, some fresh insights can be gained into the mind of the criminal entrepreneur.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 February 2020

Han-Min Kim, Gee-Woo Bock and Hyung Su Kim

Today, online malicious comments are serious issues. They can cause psychological distress and suicide of victims. Although prior studies have focused on the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

Today, online malicious comments are serious issues. They can cause psychological distress and suicide of victims. Although prior studies have focused on the role of anonymity as a major factor in making these comments, results of these studies have been inconsistent. On the other hand, the need for attention from others can provide an alternative explanation for such malicious comments. However, this perspective has been rarely studied. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate effects of anonymity and need for attention on posting malicious comments online and compare these two factors, resolving dark sides of online interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study obtained 327 questionnaires of Facebook users through a survey and analyzed the research model using partial least squares (PLS) regression.

Findings

Results of this study revealed that the need for attention affected malicious comments through partial mediation of neutralization. On the other hand, anonymity did not significantly affect malicious comments.

Research limitations/implications

This study has the following academic implications. First, we empirically examined the critical influence of need for attention on making malicious comments online based on the impression management theory. Second, this study revealed that the influence of need for attention on making malicious comments was partially mediated by neutralization. Third, this study may offer an explanation for contradicting findings on the role of anonymity in the phenomenon of posting malicious comments online.

Practical implications

Practical implications of this study are as follows. First, SNS platforms can limit activities of persons who post malicious comments frequently. Second, this study suggests that a notice is needed to inform the seriousness and harmful consequences of malicious comments. Third, Facebook practitioners should be aware that low anonymity may not reduce malicious comments.

Originality/value

This study quantitatively examined the effect of need for attention on malicious comments based on the impression management theory. It provides a fact that individuals who want to attract attention from others would write malicious comments through neutralization.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Paula Dootson, Kim A. Johnston, Ian Lings and Amanda Beatson

Deviant consumer behavior (DCB) has serious negative effects on organizations, employees and other customers. While research to date has largely focused on understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

Deviant consumer behavior (DCB) has serious negative effects on organizations, employees and other customers. While research to date has largely focused on understanding why consumers engage in deviant behaviors, less focus has been placed on exploring how to deter them. This paper aims to shift the conversation from research exploring why consumers engage in deviant behaviors to understanding how DCB could be deterred.

Design/methodology/approach

In this conceptual paper, a research agenda of deterrence tactics is provided with associated propositions to guide future research in the field of DCB.

Findings

A deterrence–neutralization–behavior (DNB) framework is proposed to underpin the seven deterrence tactics outlined in this research agenda. The DNB framework illustrates the positive relationship between neutralization techniques and engagement in DCB, because the techniques reduce the level of cognitive dissonance associated with performing a deviant act beyond an individual’s deviance threshold. The framework adds a new proposed moderating role of deterrence tactics. Deterrence tactics are mechanisms that will reintroduce cognitive dissonance, previously reduced through a neutralization technique, by presenting the consumer with a competing piece of information that challenges their attitudes, beliefs or behavior. Therefore, the authors propose that certain deterrence tactics could diminish the positive effect of different neutralization techniques on DCB if the tactics challenge the justifications consumers are using to excuse their actions – subsequently reintroducing cognitive dissonance.

Practical implications

Practically, this paper is the next step in an effort to provide evidence-based solutions for managers seeking to reduce the negative impact that deviance has on the organization.

Originality/value

To date, research has focused on understanding why DCB occurs with limited attention on how it can be deterred. The value in this paper is in proposing a series of deterrence tactics that are theoretically matched to established antecedents and neutralization techniques associated with DCB. Overall, this paper provides a future research agenda with propositions to build knowledge on effective deterrence tactics for curbing instances of DCB.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2009

Kenneth J. Smith, Jeanette A. Davy and Donald L. Rosenberg

This study uses structural equation modeling to examine the influence of academic motivation on reported prior cheating behavior, neutralization tendencies, and likelihood…

Abstract

This study uses structural equation modeling to examine the influence of academic motivation on reported prior cheating behavior, neutralization tendencies, and likelihood of future cheating among accounting majors. It also investigates the impact of prior cheating on neutralization of cheating behaviors and the likelihood of future cheating, as well as the potential mediating effects of neutralization on future cheating behavior. Our results support differentiation of the theoretical constructs within the specified process model, and also show significant positive associations between an amotivational orientation and prior cheating, neutralization, and the likelihood of future cheating.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-882-3

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2021

Dong-Heon Kwak, Saerom Lee, Xiao Ma, Jaeung Lee, Khansa Lara and Alan Brandyberry

Mobile loafing, or non-work-related mobile computing, is deviant workplace behavior that can reduce productivity and increase cybersecurity risks. To thwart mobile…

Abstract

Purpose

Mobile loafing, or non-work-related mobile computing, is deviant workplace behavior that can reduce productivity and increase cybersecurity risks. To thwart mobile loafing, organizations often adopt formal controls that encompass rules and policies. These formal controls can serve as a phase-shifting event. Phase shifting is a process where individuals reevaluate and revise their perceptions of the regulation of deviant behaviors. Despite the importance of understanding this process, little research has examined the announcement of formal controls as an impetus for phase shifting. The primary objectives of this study were to induce a phase-shifting perception in an organizational setting and explore its determinants and moderating role in the context of mobile loafing.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors proposed and tested a model using two-wave data collected from 231 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. To test the research hypotheses, they used covariance-based structural equation modeling and logistic regression.

Findings

The authors found that peer's mobile loafing and neutralization positively influence mobile-loafing intention before and after the announcement of formal controls. This research also shows that the higher an employee's neutralization, the likelier they perceive the announcement of formal controls as phase shifting. Also, the authors found that the moderating effect of phase-shifting perceptions functions in such a way that the relationship between T1 and T2 mobile-loafing intention is weaker when employees perceive the announcement of formal controls as a phase-shifting event.

Practical implications

The authors’ results provide managers with useful insights into effectively using formal controls to mitigate employees' deviant behavior. To effectively use formal controls, managers should articulate formal controls that can trigger employees to revise their perceptions of counterproductive workplace behavior policies.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first in information systems research to empirically examine the announcement of formal controls as a phase-shifting event and explore its antecedents and moderating role in the context of deviant workplace behavior in general and mobile loafing in particular.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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