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2019 International Association for Conflict Management Conference

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Helping the Organization but Harming Yourself: How and When Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior Increases Work-To-Family Conflict

Whereas prior research has focused on the antecedents of unethical pro- organizational behavior (UPB)—unethical behavior intended to benefit the organization—the current research is among the first to investigate the consequences of UPB. Building on affective events theory, we develop and test a theoretical model of how engaging in UPB at work increases employees’ work-to-family conflict. Spotlighting the morally conflicting nature of UPB (unethical yet pro-organizational), we propose that engaging in UPB increases anxiety, especially for employees higher in moral attentiveness; in turn, this anxiety induced by UPB increases work-to-family conflict. A two-week experience sampling study of hairstylists supported our theoretical model: UPB had a significant indirect effect on work-to-family conflict via anxiety, and this effect was stronger for hairstylists higher in moral attentiveness. In sum, unethical behavior intended to benefit the organization may unintentionally harm the employee himself/herself.

Xin Liu
Peking University
China

Jackson Lu
MIT Sloan School of Management
United States

Hongyu Zhang
Central University of Finance and Economics
China

Yahua Cai
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
China

 


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