Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Approach, ability, aftermath: A framework to understand unethical behaviour at work


Academy of Management Annals


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Moore C;Gino F

Publication Year



Many of the scandalous organizational practices to have come to light in the last decade—rigging LIBOR, misselling payment protection insurance, rampant Wall Street insider trading, large-scale bribery of foreign officials, and the packaging and sale of toxic securities to naïve investors—require ethically problematic judgments and behaviors. However, dominant models of workplace unethical behavior fail to account for what we have learned from moral psychology and cognitive neuroscience in the past two decades about how and why people make the moral decisions they do. In this review, we explain how intuition, affect, physiology, and identity support and inform more deliberative reasoning process in the construction and enactment of moral behavior. We then describe how these processes play into how individuals approach a potential moral choice, whether they have the ability in the moment to enact it, and how it is encoded in the action' aftermath, feeding back into future approaches. Throughout, we attend to the role of organizational context in influencing these processes. By reviewing this large body of research and presenting a new framework that attempts to integrate these new findings, our hope is to motivate new research about how to support more moral workplace behavior that starts from what we know now.

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox


Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.