An integrative approach to understanding counterproductive work behavior: The roles of stressors, negative emotions, and moral disengagement

Roberta Fida (Lead Author), Marinella Paciello, Carlo Tramontano, Reid Griffith Fontaine, Claudio Barbaranelli, Maria Luisa Farnese

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114 Citations (Scopus)
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Several scholars have highlighted the importance
of examining moral disengagement (MD) in understanding
aggression and deviant conduct across different
contexts. The present study investigates the role of MD as a
specific social-cognitive construct that, in the organizational
context, may intervene in the process leading from
stressors to counterproductive work behavior (CWB).
Assuming the theoretical framework of the stressor-emotion
model of CWB, we hypothesized that MD mediates, at
least partially, the relation between negative emotions in
reaction to perceived stressors and CWB by promoting or
justifying aggressive responses to frustrating situations or
events. In a sample of 1,147 Italian workers, we tested a
structural equations model. The results support our
hypothesis: the more workers experienced negative emotions
in response to stressors, the more they morally disengaged
and, in turn, enacted CWB
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
Early online date15 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Moral disengagement
  • Counterproductive work behavior
  • Job stressor
  • Negative emotions
  • Aggression

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