Moral licensing as a predictor of counterproductive work behavior in public administrations

نوع مقاله : مقاله پژوهشی


1 دانشجوی دکترا دانشگاه فردوسی، دانشکده علوم اداری و اقتصادی، ایران، مشهد

2 استاد گروه مدیریت/ دانشکده علوم اداری و اقتصادی/ دانشگاه فردوسی مشهد


Voluntary deviation from self-control, commonly referred to as moral licensing, is a phenomenon in which an individual justifies his or her immoral and counterproductive behavior depending on various factors, especially past creditable behaviors and activities, without worrying about the loss of his or her reputation and esteem. Considering the undesirable consequences of this phenomenon for the individual, organization and society, this study attempts to find the reasons and factors that lead to the formation of moral licensing in addition to the individual's previous creditable behaviors and activities. The research philosophy was descriptive, the approach was qualitative, and the strategy was emergent-based grounded theory. The population under study consists of managers and employees of public administrations in northeastern Iran. 17 individuals were selected as purposive samples until theoretical saturation was reached. A semi-structured interview was used to collect data. Analysis of the interviews based on actual and theoretical coding shows that the causes of moral licensing are classified into six categories. Identifying these causes can provide solutions to prevent moral licensing in the organizations.