ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (9): 1944-1954.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01944

• 研究构想 • 上一篇    下一篇


程垦1(), 王艺霏2, 林英晖3, 王菁1   

  1. 1浙江工业大学管理学院, 杭州 310023
    2同济大学经济与管理学院, 上海 200092
    3上海大学管理学院, 上海 200444
  • 收稿日期:2021-12-14 出版日期:2022-09-15 发布日期:2022-07-21
  • 通讯作者: 程垦
  • 基金资助:

Observer reactions to unethical pro-organizational behavior and their feedback effects

CHENG Ken1(), WANG Yifei2, LIN Yinghui3, WANG Jing1   

  1. 1School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
    2School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
    3School of Management, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
  • Received:2021-12-14 Online:2022-09-15 Published:2022-07-21
  • Contact: CHENG Ken


亲组织不道德行为(unethical pro-organizational behavior, UPB)是近10年来组织行为研究领域的热点主题。相较于已得到广泛探讨的UPB形成机理研究, 当前关于UPB的影响效应研究还相对有限, 且主要聚焦于领导UPB对员工的影响, 以及自我反馈下UPB对行为者的影响。借鉴并受到对应推论理论(correspondent inference theory)和社会认知理论(social cognitive theory)中有关观点的启发, 构建了一个同事间围绕UPB的社会互动模型。模型指出, 观察者在看到同为员工身份的行为者实施UPB后会对此进行结果预期和动机归因, 继而在观察者正直性的调节下引发相应的心理与行为反应; 进一步地, 行为者在接收到观察者对其UPB的行为反应后会对这些反馈背后的意图进行解读, 进而影响其后续行为变化。最后, 从观察者对UPB的道德判断、与UPB“不道德”属性有关的认知评价、UPB行为者行为变化的过程机理等方面提出理论模型的拓展方向。

关键词: 亲组织不道德行为, 观察者反应, 社会互动


In the recent decade, unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB), defined as unethical behaviors conducted by employees to potentially benefit the organization, has become a hot topic in the organizational behavior research field. Since the concept of UPB was put forward, scholars have widely investigated the formation mechanisms of UPB. In comparison, the research on the effects of UPB is rather limited. Until now, little has been known about the social interaction mechanism of UPB that happens between coworkers and has UPB characteristics. Learning from and inspired by some views of correspondent inference theory and social cognitive theory, this study develops a social interaction model of UPB between coworkers. This theoretical model involves two roles, namely actors and observers, and consists of three correlated parts.

In the first part, based on the perspective of outcome expectation, we discuss the observers' psychological and behavioral reactions to UPB. Specifically, given that UPB can bring short-term benefits to the organization, we propose that observers will have positive expectations about the outcomes that UPB brings to the actors. Thus, the more UPB observers witness, the more positive outcomes observers will expect. Furthermore, we posit that observers' reactions to the positive outcome expectations will be contingent on the levels of observers' integrity. For observers high in integrity, positive outcome expectations may trigger moral anger, which in turn prompts observers to punish actors by undertaking workplace negative gossip. In contrast, observers low in integrity may be motivated by the positive outcome expectations, thereby engaging in moral disengagement and then conducting UPB.

In the second part, based on the perspective of motive attribution, we explore the observers' psychological and behavioral reactions to UPB. Specifically, given the analysis of the outcomes of UPB in the first part, we contend that when observing UPB, observers will attribute self-interested and pro-organizational motives to the UPB actors. The attributed self-interested motives may result in moral anger and subsequently encourage observers to engage in workplace negative gossip, while the attributed pro-organizational motives may attenuate the relationship between the attributed self-interested motives and moral anger. We further argue that the aforementioned relationships will vary across individuals. For observers high in integrity, the attributed self-interested motives may exert stronger impacts on moral anger, while the moderating effect of the attributed pro-organizational motives may become weaker.

In the third part, based on the perspective of intent inference, we analyze the actors' behavior changes in accordance with observers' feedback. Specifically, if actors find that many observers also conduct UPB, they will form a perception that UPB is accepted by the working unit and then maintain or increase the levels of UPB. In contrast, when actors hear negative gossips from the observers, they will interpret the gossips as a kind of warning and thus reduce UPB subsequently. Moreover, considering that Chinese people value the maintenance of interpersonal harmony, we deem that workplace negative gossip may likely prompt actors to shift their behaviors from UPB to organizational citizenship behavior directed at observers to improve the interpersonal relations.

In conclusion, the present study not only narrows the extant research gap of the impacts of UPB to some extent, but also deepens the understanding of the social interaction mechanism of UPB. Meanwhile, our model offers practical implications for managers to control the contagion of UPB in organizations. Finally, we put forward some future research directions of this theoretical model in terms of observers' moral judgment to UPB, cognitive appraisals related to the unethical attribute of UPB, and the internal mechanisms of behavior changes of UPB actors.

Key words: unethical pro-organizational behavior, observer reaction, social interaction