The emotion-evoked collective corruption model: The role of emotion in the spread of corruption within organizations

Kristin Smith-Crowe, Danielle E. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

We draw from research on emotions and moral reasoning to develop a process model of collective corruption that centers on the role of moral emotions in the spread of corruption within organizations. Our focus on a well-intentioned and deliberative path to corruption is a departure from previous theory, which has focused on mindless and ill-intentioned paths. In our model, moral emotions play a critical role in both the initial recruitment of a target individual (the direct process), as well as the spread of corruption to a broader group of nontargeted individuals through emotional contagion (the vicarious process). For both processes we explain how self-directed moral emotions (guilt, shame, embarrassment, and pride) facilitate the spread of corruption and how other-directed moral emotions (anger and contempt) do not. We conclude by discussing the implications of our theory and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1171
Number of pages18
JournalOrganization Science
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Keywords

  • Affective residue
  • Anger
  • Collective corruption
  • Conformity
  • Contempt
  • Embarrassment
  • Emotional contagion
  • Guilt
  • Moral emotions
  • Pride
  • Shame

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