Linda Klebe Trevino's research while affiliated with Pennsylvania State University and other places

Publications (143)

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Organizations differ in the extent to which they emphasize the importance of status, yet most extant research on the role of status at work has utilized a limited view of status as merely a matter of a person’s status rank. In contrast, we examine people’s perceptions of the extent to which having status matters in their work context and explore th...
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Despite the importance of ethical voice for advancing ethics in organizations, we know little about how coworkers respond to ethical voice in their work units. Drawing on the fundamental approach/avoidance behavioral system and the promotive and prohibitive distinction in the voice literature, we distinguish between promotive and prohibitive ethica...
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Ethics has emerged as one of the most critical issues facing organizations. Given its importance, an extensive literature has evolved to understand the causes and consequences of (un)ethical decision making and behaviors in organizations. To date, much of this research has relied on research methods (e.g., experiments) that emphasize internal valid...
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Research has offered a pessimistic (although limited) view regarding the effectiveness of ethical champions in teams and the social consequences they are likely to experience. To challenge this view, we conducted two multimethod (quantitative/qualitative) experimental studies in the context of entrepreneurial team decision-making to examine whether...
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Why do employees fail to report a friend's misconduct, and if they do not report, how else do they cope with this ethical dilemma? Through two field studies, we offer a more nuanced understanding of the range of alternative responses between the extremes of silence (ignoring misconduct) and compliance (reporting), and we illuminate the underlying r...
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We describe a unique co-curricular honor and integrity program at a large, research university’s business school. We discuss the evolution of the program as well as the array of stakeholders who were involved in its early development and sustenance. We use an ethical culture template to highlight the formal and informal systems, and we discuss ongo...
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Our study offers an understanding of how middle managers may use routines as tools to induce their subordinates to engage in widespread unethical behavior. We conducted a 15-month ethnography at a desk sales unit within a large telecommunications firmand discovered that middle managers coerced their subordinates into deceiving upper management abou...
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We investigate how the temporal effects of past, present, and future influence organizational identification. We examine an underrepresented but important stakeholder group-organizational alumni-whose prior organizational experiences can leave a “legacy identification,” such that alumni continue to define themselves in terms of the organization's i...
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In the expanding field of ethical leadership research, little attention has been paid to the association between ethical leaders’ ethical characteristics (beyond personality) and perceived ethical leadership, and, more importantly, the potential influence of ethical leadership on followers’ ethical characteristics. In this study, we tested a theore...
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Previous studies have established the relationship between ethical leadership and a variety of positive follower outcomes. Follower organizational identification has been found to mediate the relationship between ethical leadership and follower job performance. In this research, we incorporate a second distinct and theoretically important type of s...
Chapter
This entry reviews the key distinctions between normative (philosophical) and descriptive (empirical social scientific) methods in business ethics, considering differences in language, institutional roots, assumptions about human agency, role of empirical evidence, and bases for evaluation of theoretical claims. Keywords: business ethics research...
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With the exception of investigations invoking the moral identity construct, the worlds of identity and ethics have not overlapped significantly in previous research. We organized this symposium to bring together and showcase recent research projects that bring identity and ethics together in novel ways. We hope to present fresh insights by consider...
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Recent calls for research have inspired a surge of theoretical and empirical work aimed at better understanding how to recover from unjust and unethical actions in organizations, with particular burgeoning interest in constructive and socially aware responses. However, the majority of this work has focused on the concerns of those who have suffered...
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Romanticized media narratives of prominent figures are typically resistant to change. This research takes a grounded theory approach to study the case of Joe Paterno, an iconic organizational figure who became embroiled in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. As a result, the mass media dramatically rewrote the existing media n...
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Organizations have responded to ethical scandals in part by creating the Ethics and Compliance Officer (ECO) role to help insure employee ethical and legal behavior. Because ECO work is so fundamental to behavioral ethics in organizations and we know very little about it, we conducted a grounded theory study to learn more. We learned that, although...
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Self-interest has long been recognized as a powerful human motive. Yet, much remains to be understood about the thinking behind self-interested pursuits. Drawing from multiple literatures, we propose that situations high in opportunity for self-interested gain trigger a type of moral cognition called moral disengagement that allows the individual t...
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Organizational crisis, scandals, and stigmas are not new. We continue to witness major ethical and moral shortcomings as scandals unfold in corporations, churches, and not-for-profit organizations. Despite the preponderance of these crises, however, most go unstudied by organizational scholars, in large part because access is so difficult. For thos...
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This symposium aims to develop new theoretical insight on social status within organizations. Although research on social status dates back over 50 years, interest within the management domain has been limited; however, scholars have recently begun to recognize its importance for organizational members. This symposium aims to further develop this a...
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Thus far, we know much more about the significant outcomes of perceived ethical leadership than we do about its antecedents. In this study, we focus on multiple types of ethical role models as antecedents of perceived ethical leadership. According to social learning theory, role models facilitate the acquisition of moral and other types of behavior...
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This article examines the influence on organizational outcomes of CEOs’ political ideology, specifically political conservatism vs. liberalism. We propose that CEOs’ political ideologies will influence their firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices, hypothesizing that (1) liberal CEOs will emphasize CSR more than will conservative CEO...
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We develop and test a model based on social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1991) that links abusive supervision to followers' ethical intentions and behaviors. Results from a sample of 2,572 military members show that abusive supervision was negatively related to followers' moral courage and their identification with the organization's core values. In...
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Via three studies of varying methodologies designed to complement and build upon each other, we examine how supervisory ethical leadership is associated with employees’ reporting unethical conduct within the organization (i.e., internal whistle-blowing). We also examine whether the positive effect of supervisory ethical leadership is enhanced by an...
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Despite a business environment that highlights the importance of executives’ ethical leadership, the individual antecedents of ethical leadership remain largely unknown. In this study, the authors propose that follower perceptions of ethical leadership depend on the executive leader’s cognitive moral development (CMD) and, more importantly, on the...
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Existing cognitive and cultural perspectives on values have under-theorized the processes whereby values come to be practiced in organizations. We address this lacuna by studying the emergence and performance of what we call values practices. Drawing on an analysis of the development of an honor code within a large business school, we theorize the...
Chapter
This empirical study of Fortune 1000 firms assesses the degree to which those firms have adopted various practices associated with corporate ethics programs. The study examines the following aspects of formalized corporate ethics activity: ethics-oriented policy statements; formalization of management responsibilities for ethics; free-standing ethi...
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We develop and test a model linking ethical leadership with unit ethical culture, both across and within organizational levels, examining how both leadership and culture relate to ethical cognitions and behaviors of lower-level followers. The data were collected from 2,572 U.S. Army soldiers representing three organizational levels deployed in comb...
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We examine the influence of individuals’ propensity to morally disengage on a broad range of unethical organizational behaviors. First, we develop a parsimonious, adult‐oriented, valid, and reliable measure of an individual's propensity to morally disengage, and demonstrate the relationship between it and a number of theoretically relevant construc...
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Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, and the college years are a critical period for their ethical development. Cheating in College explores how and why students cheat and what policies, practices, and participation may be useful in promoting academic integrity and reducing cheating. The authors investigate trends over time, including internet-...
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This review spotlights research related to ethical and unethical behavior in organizations. It builds on previous reviews and meta-analyses of the literature on (un)ethical behavior in organizations and examines recent advances in the field. The emphasis is on how this research speaks to the influence of the organizational context on (un)ethical be...
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We propose a future-oriented model that focuses on the reconciliation of the supervisor—subordinate relationship after a workplace injustice. First, we propose factors associated with the victim’s sensemaking process that influence the need for relationship reconciliation efforts: the seriousness of the violation, blame attribution, and equity sens...
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Reports an error in "Bad apples, bad cases, and bad barrels: Meta-analytic evidence about sources of unethical decisions at work" by Jennifer J. Kish-Gephart, David A. Harrison and Linda Klebe Treviño (Journal of Applied Psychology, 2010[Jan], Vol 95[1], 1-31). In the recent article “Bad Apples, Bad Cases, and Bad Barrels: Meta-Analytic Evidence Ab...
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In this qualitative research, we enhance understanding of leader influences on employee voice perceptions by examining which leaders influence these perceptions and why these influences occur. We conducted 89 interviews in a hightech multinational corporation with employees at multiple levels in two manufacturing and two R&D units that differed sig...
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As corporate scandals proliferate, practitioners and researchers alike need a cumulative, quantitative understanding of the antecedents associated with unethical decisions in organizations. In this meta-analysis, the authors draw from over 30 years of research and multiple literatures to examine individual ("bad apple"), moral issue ("bad case"), a...
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In every organization, individual members have the potential to speak up about important issues, but a growing body of research suggests that they often remain silent instead, out of fear of negative personal and professional consequences. In this chapter, we draw on research from disciplines ranging from evolutionary psychology to neuroscience, so...
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Scholars have studied how the social associations of corporate executives affect their access to information and their decisions. The entire focus, however, has been on lateral peer-to-peer associations. Prior research has not addressed vertical associations, or the idea that interaction with peer elites yields different perceptions and behaviors t...
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In a field study, the authors investigated the relationship between socialized charismatic leadership and values congruence between leaders and followers. Socialized charismatic leadership theory holds that charismatic leaders convey a values-based message and bring about values congruence between themselves and their followers. Yet, other research...
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This special topic forum was designed to stimulate theory development on corruption in organizational life as a systemic and synergistic phenomenon. Given the multiple perspectives and bodies of literature that can be brought to bear on the phenomenon, we introduce the forum with a micro view, macro view, wide view, long view, and deep view of orga...
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This article advances understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of moral disengagement by testing hypotheses with 3 waves of survey data from 307 business and education undergraduate students. The authors theorize that 6 individual differences will either increase or decrease moral disengagement, defined as a set of cognitive mechanisms that de...
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Senior managers are important to the successful management of ethics in organizations. Therefore, their perceptions of organizational ethics are important. In this study, we propose that senior managers are likely to have a more positive perception of organizational ethics than lower level employees do largely because of their managerial role and t...
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Senior managers are important to the successful management of ethics in organizations. Therefore, their perceptions of organizational ethics are important. In this study, we propose that senior managers are likely to have more positive perception of organizational ethics than lower level employees to largely because of their managerial role and the...
Chapter
The social science perspective on business ethicsWhat is unethical conduct in organizations?Influences on ethical decisions and conduct in organizationsManaging ethics and legal compliance in US corporationsFirm social responsibility and financial performanceConclusion
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The article examines business ethics by using a meta-analysis approach. It is suggested that a clearer understanding of the individual, situational and environmental factors that impact individual-level unethical choices is established by bringing together emperical research on ethical decision making from multiple resources and disparate literatur...
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The authors studied the effect of 3 modes of managerial influence (managerial oversight, ethical leadership, and abusive supervision) on counterproductivity, which was conceptualized as a unit-level outcome that reflects the existence of a variety of intentional and unintentional harmful employee behaviors in the unit. Counterproductivity was repre...
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Our literature review focuses on the emerging construct of ethical leadership and compares this construct with related concepts that share a common concern for a moral dimension of leadership (e.g., spiritual, authentic, and transformational leadership). Drawing broadly from the intersection of the ethics and leadership literatures, we offer propos...
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The importance of ethical behavior to an organization has never been more apparent, and in recent years researchers have generated a great deal of knowledge about the management of individual ethical behavior in organizations. We review this literature and attempt to provide a coherent portrait of the current state of the field. We discuss individu...
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In this study, we test the interactive effect on ethical decision-making of (1) personal characteristics, and (2) personal expectancies based on perceptions of organizational rewards and punishments. Personal characteristics studied were cognitive moral development and belief in a just world. Using an in-basket simulation, we found that exposure to...
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In this study, we test the interactive effect on ethical decision-making of (1) personal characteristics, and (2) personal expectancies based on perceptions of organizational rewards and punishments. Personal characteristics studied were cognitive moral development and belief in a just world. Using an in-basket simulation, we found that exposure to...
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Little is currently known about cheating among graduate business students. We collected data from more than 5,000 business (mostly MBA) and nonbusiness graduate students at 32 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 academic years to test a series of hypotheses regarding the prevalence of graduat...
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The amount of attention given to ethics in the curricula of MBA programs varies widely. In this study we utilize both neoinstitutional theory and an internal view of power and politics to investigate the factors - from inside and outside the business school - that influence whether MBA programs attend to ethics by including ethics courses in their...
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The authors conducted a field study to investigate the relationship between socialized charismatic leadership and deviance in work groups. Because socialized charismatic leaders are thought to play an ethical leadership role, the authors hypothesized that the socialized charismatic leadership style would be associated with reduced deviance in the l...
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In a survey study, we proposed that moral disengagement in business school students is driven by individual differences students bring with them to college. We also sought to determine if freshmen in business school are more morally disengaged than their counterparts in a college of education. Findings from approximately 700 students in a large res...
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Efforts to foster ethical behavior in organizations often direct attention to top executives and company policies and programs. Doing so, however, overlooks an important influence on the ethical behavior of people: the behavior of others whom people view as ethical role models. Through in-depth interviews, we asked experienced managers to explain w...
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Em conseqüência dos recentes escândalos corporativos, executivos e pesquisadores voltaram sua atenção para questões de gestão ética. Identificamos cinco mitos comuns sobre ética nos negócios e fornecemos respostas fundamentadas em teoria, pesquisa e exemplos executivos. Embora o estudo científico da ética nos negócios seja relativamente novo, a teo...
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Researchers have been giving increased attention to organizational punishment from the perspective of the manager who delivers the punishment. We build upon previous theoretical work to examine how managers think about punishment. We propose relationships among managers' beliefs, characteristics of the punishment event (i.e., fairness-based punishm...
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Leaders should be a key source of ethical guidance for employees. Yet, little empirical research focuses on an ethical dimension of leadership. We propose social learning theory as a theoretical basis for understanding ethical leadership and offer a constitutive definition of the ethical leadership construct. In seven interlocking studies, we inves...
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Executive Summary In the aftermath of recent corporate scandals, managers and researchers have turned their attention to questions of ethics management. We identify five common myths about business ethics and provide responses that are grounded in theory, research, and business examples. Although the scientific study of business ethics is relativel...
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In the aftermath of recent corporate scandals, managers and researchers have turned their attention to questions of ethics management. We identify five common myths about business ethics and provide responses that are grounded in theory, research, and business examples. Although the scientific study of business ethics is relatively new, theory and...
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We conducted a field study to investigate whether and to what degree leaders influence organizational and interpersonal deviance among their direct reports. The results indicated that charismatic leadership is associated with lower levels of employee deviance. However, employee trust in and liking of the leader, characteristics of a high quality so...
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This survey of faculty at honor code and non-honor code institutions investigated the influence of honor codes on faculty attitudes and behaviors. As hypothesized, we found that honor code faculty have more positive attitudes toward their schools' academic integrity policies and are more willing to allow the system to take care of monitoring and di...
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This study examined the formation and persistence of homophilous, or same-race, friendship ties among racial minorities and whites in a "newcomer" setting. Homophilous ties provide valuable sources of mutual support but may limit racial minorities' access to resources and information in organizations. Study participants were first-year MBA students...
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Senior executives are thought to provide the organization’s ethical ‘tone at the top’. We conducted an inductive interview-based study aimed at defining the perceived content domain of executive ethical leadership. We interviewed two types of key informants - corporate ethics officers and senior executives - about executive ethical leadership and t...
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Research has shown that traditional academic honor codes are generally associated with lower levels of student academic dishonesty. Utilizing data obtained from students at 21 colleges and universities, this study investigated the influence of modified honor codes, an alternative to traditional honor codes, that is gaining popularity on larger camp...
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This field survey focused on two constructs that have been developed to represent the ethical context in organizations: ethical climate and ethical culture. We first examined issues of convergence and divergence between these constructs through factor analysis and correlational analysis. Results suggested that the two constructs are measuring somew...
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Organizational justice and injustice are widely noted influences on employees' ethical behavior. Corporate ethics programs also raise issues of justice; organizations that fail to "follow-through" on their ethics policies may be perceived as violating employees' expectations of procedural and retributive justice. In this empirical study of four lar...
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Formal programs for fostering ethical behavior have become institutionalized in much of the corporate world, with encouragement from government policy makers. But little is known about the various possible outcomes of such programs, nor about the way employees' perceptions of ethics programs affect program outcomes. In this four-company empirical s...
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This article reviews 1 decade of research on cheating in academic institutions. This re-search demonstrates that cheating is prevalent and that some forms of cheating have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. This research also suggests that although both individual and contextual factors influence cheating, contextual factors, such as stud...
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Many large corporations now have formal programs for managing ethical behavior and legal compliance. But the often minor role of human resources (HR) in companies' ethics management efforts is problematic. This is because ethics management efforts are likely to raise questions of fairness, and trigger a fairness heuristic among employees that can g...
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Student codes of conduct often encourage or require students to report acts of academic dishonesty they observe. This research investigated the influence of such requirements on academic dishonesty and the peer reporting of such dishonesty. Results suggest that stronger requirements generally lead to more reporting and less cheating. However, the o...