The relationship between religiosity and ethical behavior at work has remained elusive. In fact, inconsistent results in observed magnitudes and direction led Hood et al. (The psychology of religion: An empirical approach, 1996) to describe the relationship between religiosity and ethics as "something of a roller coaster ride." Weaver and Agle (Acad Manage Rev 27(1): 77-97, 2002) utilizing social structural versions of symbolic interactionism theory reasoned that we should not expect religion to affect ethical outcomes for all religious individuals; rather, such a relationship likely depends on specific religious attitudes including religious motivation orientation (intrinsic RMO vs. extrinsic RMO), perceived sacred qualities of work (job sanctification), and views of God (VOG, loving vs. punishing). We examined the effects of these three religious attitudes on participants' judgments of 29 ethically questionable vignettes. Consistent with symbolic interactionism theory, intrinsic RMO and having a loving view of God were both negatively related to endorsing ethically questionable vignettes, whereas extrinsic RMO was positively related to endorsing the vignettes. Unexpectedly, job sanctification was positively related to endorsing the vignettes. However, both intrinsic and extrinsic RMO moderated this relationship such that sanctifying one's job was related to ethical judgments only for those who were: (a) low in intrinsic RMO or (b) high in extrinsic RMO. We reasoned based on symbolic interactionism theory that intrinsically motivated participants, in contrast to extrinsically motivated participants, may have utilized their religious beliefs as a guiding framework in making ethical judgments.
The Journal of Business Ethics publishes original articles from a wide variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives concerning ethical issues related to business. Since its initiation in 1980, the editors have encouraged the broadest possible scope. The term 'business' is understood in a wide sense to include all systems involved in the exchange of goods and services, while 'ethics' is circumscribed as all human action aimed at securing a good life. Systems of production, consumption, marketing, advertising, social and economic accounting, labour relations, public relations and organisational behaviour are analysed from a moral viewpoint. The style and level of dialogue involve all who are interested in business ethics – the business community, universities, government agencies and consumer groups. Speculative philosophy as well as reports of empirical research are welcomed. In order to promote a dialogue between the various interested groups as much as possible, papers are presented in a style relatively free of specialist jargon.
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