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The moral self: A review and integration of the literature

Authors

  • Peter L. Jennings,

    Corresponding author
    1. Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.
    • Correspondence to: Peter L. Jennings, Leavy School of Business, Department of Management, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053, U.S.A. E-mail: pjennings@scu.edu

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    • Note that these authors are listed alphabetically and contributed equally.

  • Marie S. Mitchell,

    1. Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, U.S.A.
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    • Note that these authors are listed alphabetically and contributed equally.

  • Sean T. Hannah

    1. School of Business, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
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Summary

The role of the self in moral functioning has gained considerable theoretical and empirical attention over the last 25 years. A general consensus has emerged that the self plays a vital role in individuals' moral agency. This surge of research produced a proliferation of constructs related to the moral self, each grounded in diverse theoretical perspectives. Although this work has advanced our understanding of moral thought and behavior, there has also been a lack of clarity as to the nature and functioning of the moral self. We review and synthesize empirical research related to the moral self and provide an integrative framework to increase conceptual coherence among the various relevant constructs. We then discuss emerging opportunities and future directions for research on the moral self as well as implications for behavioral ethics in organizational contexts. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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