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Management Ethics: The Psychology of Positive vs. Destructive Rule Breaking

Management Ethics: The Psychology of Positive vs. Destructive Rule Breaking
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Author(s): Jay Finkelman (California School of Professional Psychology, USA) and Louise Kelly (Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 17
Source title: Handbook of Research on Teaching Ethics in Business and Management Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Charles Wankel (St. John's University, USA) and Agata Stachowicz-Stanusch (Silesian University of Technology, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-510-6.ch010

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Abstract

This chapter looks at some of the psychological underpinnings of rule breaking behavior in business -what drives rule breaking behavior and how can it be shaped. The authors contrast the positive and productive rule breaking, with the destructive and unethical rule breaking behavior seen in companies such as Enron. They consider some of the causes of deviant behavior using a social bonding framework and other potential predictors such as lack of self-awareness, lack of future commitment to the organization and lack of supervisory support. Narcissistic leaders are a special case that the authors examine because of their potential influence on either positive or negative rule breaking. Narcissistic leaders can have a positive impact on innovation, or they may elect to engage in unethical rule breaking. The chapter also explores practical prevention strategies and ends with an explanation of some of the major findings of positive psychology.

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