Unethical behavior: Context and consequences

Nicole E Ruedy, University of Pennsylvania


Ethical infractions have long been characterized as a failure of the will to overcome the temptation to commit unethical behavior. Here I consider additional theoretical frameworks for understanding unethical behavior. Chapter 1 explores how unethical behavior might result from conflicting codes of conduct, especially relationship-dependent ethical standards. Chapter 2 investigates whether unethical decision making is affected by an individual's level of "mindfulness", or present-centered awareness. Chapter 3 examines whether people sometimes experience psychological rewards as a result of violating an ethical standard. Throughout, I consider what implications these processes might have for attempts to curtail unethical behavior. Taken together, these findings suggest that unethical behavior can result from several different sources, and that models of ethical decision making processes should aim to reflect this complexity.

Subject Area

Behavioral psychology|Ethics|Management

Recommended Citation

Ruedy, Nicole E, "Unethical behavior: Context and consequences" (2010). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3414124.