Science Journal of Business and Management
Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2016, Pages: 34-41

Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior (UBP): Concept and Studies Evolution

Nouzra Tsiavia

School of Management, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China

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To cite this article:

Nouzra Tsiavia. Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior (UBP): Concept and Studies Evolution. Science Journal of Business and Management. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp. 34-41. doi: 10.11648/j.sjbm.20160402.13

Received: February 26, 2016; Accepted: March 25, 2016; Published: April 7, 2016

Abstract: Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior was many times neglected in the organizational literature. But in the past few years, the phenomenon was introduced in the domain of organizational behavior and figures nowadays among the trendy topics of scientific interest. Several organizational scholars have conducted researches exploring the construct, and more and more scholarly papers about UPB have been published up to the current day. The present study has been developed based on examination and summary of the major works completed on Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior in order to trace the evolution of its concept since its infancy. Additionally, the paper gives readers a general review of Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior studies.

Keywords: Unethical Pro-organization Behavior, Organization Literature, Unethical Behavior

1. Introduction

Research has proved that unethical behavior is harmful as well costly to Organization [1,2]. But although the negative nature of the construct, unethical behavior is nowadays widespread among organizational members within an organization [1,2,3] and could be detected at any level of a company. Along with the growing studies, researchers have determined many reasons that cause workers to behave in an unethical way at their workplace. Individuals may unethically behave in order to benefit themselves [2,4,5,6], to retaliate against their organization [7], and to harm their co-workers, their supervisors and even their employing organization [8,9,10,11,12]. But in these recent years, organizational scholars have started to shift their focus to a different type of Unethical behavior, known as Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior. Similarly to others types of Unethical Behavior (e.g. Organizational deviance [13]), the construct presents a negative aspect. However, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior is different because it seeks to help an organization. This article is aimed to trace the development of Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior and provide readers with an overview of the most recent evolution in UBP studies. In order to do so, I will first explain the concept of Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior. A brief review on its distinctness from similar existing phenomena will be followed by a summary of its antecedents and consequences discovered by different organization scholars all along their investigations.

2. Conceptualization of UPB

2.1. Definition and Restrictions

Unethical Pro-organization Behavior refers to "actions that are intended to promote the effective functioning of the Organization or its members (e.g., leaders) and violate core societal values, mores, laws, or standards of proper conduct [3]". More precisely, unethical pro-organization behavior involves unethical acts committed by employees in order to benefit an organization or its members or both [3]. The construct has two main components. Firstly, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior consists of acts that break the general principles of values, moral, norms and the standards of ethical code held within societies. And secondly, Unethical pro-Organizational is pro-organization, meaning that instead of causing harm, employees may engage in unethical behavior with the intent to promote either the success of their employing organization or to advance members of that organization or to advantage both simultaneously [14,3,15]. Although Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior infringes the global standards of ethical behavior, Individuals may consider the concept as positive and desirable because it provides the organization with some benefits [16,17]. Scholars have identified some acts carried out by individuals, which completely fit the main conceptualization of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior such as the acts of commission and omission. For instance, bribing officials to come across competitors, falsifying the date of products validity in order to sell expired items, tampering with financial figures to enhance the stock value of an organization are part of commission acts. And acts of omission involves behaviors such as concealing negative information about a company or failing to inform customers about products defects and so on…

To limit the conceptualization of unethical pro-organizational behavior, Umphress and Bingham [3] have posited some boundary conditions to distinguish the construct and ensure that inappropriate behavior will not fall under the category of unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. They determined three main boundary conditions. First of all, some organizational members may commit unethical acts without any intention to either benefit or cause harm. Those acts are classified as work-related actions including errors, mistakes and even an unconscious negligence [18]. Work-related actions do not fulfill the overall concept of Unethical pro-Organization Behavior because employees undertake those actions without a conscious purpose. Then, some unethical acts conducted by employees may fail to meet their intention and expected results. Instead of helping, employees may engender some serious damage through their unethical actions. However, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior implies employees’ intention to benefit the organization and its members. And last, individuals may carry out some unethical actions, but they do it merely for their proper gain or benefit. In this case, the perpetrator just has self-interested motives and do not take into account neither the organization nor its members. Thus, self-centered unethical actions could not be counted as Unethical pro-Organization behavior.

2.2. UPB Versus Similar Constructs

In previous studies, some organizational scholars as in [19] started to investigate beneficial unethical acts without considering whether those behaviors were intended to benefit an organization [20]. But later, others scholars acknowledge that unethical acts may be conducted in order to benefit an organization. And along the past years, researchers identified several forms of beneficial unethical behavior such as positive or constructive deviance [16], Organization misbehavior [2,6], necessary evils [21] and Pro-social Rule Breaking [22]. Throughout their studies, Umphress and Bingham [3] have perceived the similarities that unethical pro-organizational behavior shares with those former constructs. But, some aspects presented in the main conception of Unethical pro-Organization Behavior create differentiation between the construct itself and the similar concepts. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish Unethical pro-Organization Behavior from those concepts.

Along with the growing studies about unethical behavior in the domain of organizational behavior, some organizational researchers [16,23] chose to explore the potential positive or constructive facet of deviance. Among others, Warren [16] developed a framework for conceptualization and approached the construct of deviance based on two dimensions, which are: 1) whether individuals’ actions are consistent or inconsistent with hyper norms, or moral standards within society; and 2) whether individuals’ actions are consistent or inconsistent with workgroup norms within the organization. On one hand, the conception of Warren coincides with the notion of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior, given that behaviors violate hyper norms and societal values. But on the other hand, his view differs from the concept of Unethical pro-Organizational behavior because it does not reflect the intention, which lies beneath those unethical acts. Moreover, in his framework, Warren [16] also takes into account actions that are conformed or not to workgroup norms and actions that are consistent with the standards of ethical behavior held in society. Unethical Pro-Organization Behavior could be discerned from Warren’s view since it includes solely acts that go beyond the bounds of the societal norms and values, which means unethical acts, and it reflects the motivation behind such actions.

Then, Vardi and Colleagues [2,6] determined another type of beneficial unethical behavior based on motivations, which cause the actions, and it is known as Organization misbehavior. The concept of Organization misbehavior involves any intentional action undertaken by organizational members that deviates from core organization and/or societal norms [2,6]. The construct has three main aspects such as 1) behaviors targeted to benefit oneself, 2) behaviors performed to hurt others and harm the organization, and 3) acts conducted to benefit the organization. The last aspect makes Organizational misbehavior similar to Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. However, the two constructs are different from one another at three main points. Vardi and Wiener [2] argue that Organizational misbehavior consists of actions that are coherent with organizational expectations but defy social values and actions that are coherent with social values but defy organizational expectations. In contrast, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior merely encompasses acts that break the standards of social values and norms regardless of the fact that those acts may be or may be not coherent with organizational expectations. In addition, the concept of Organization misbehavior is based on the theory of reasoned action [24] and decision [25] and theories of social information process [26]. But, Umphress & Bingham [3] built the concept of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior upon social exchange theory [27,28]. Besides, in opposition to Vardi and Colleagues in [2,6], individuals consider the potential severity of the act [29] before engaging in unethical pro-Organizational Behavior [3]. The potential severity causes variance among individuals when viewing and making a decision about conducting unethical pro-Organizational acts [3]. The arguments highlighted above obviously show that the conceptualization of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior diverges from the conceptualization of Organization misbehavior.

Later on, Molinsky and Margolis [21] came out with another form of beneficial unethical acts, termed as necessary evils. They defined the construct as " work related tasks in which an individual must, as a part of his or her job, perform an act that causes emotional or physical harm to another human being in the service of achieving some perceived greater good [21] ". Indeed, employees may engage in some behaviors to bring benefit to an individual, an organization or a society while harming the object of the behavior in the process [21]. As examples: managers may give bad news to their subordinates to boost their effort at work, health care workers may undertake painful procedures as part of the treatment, and teachers may give negative feedback in order to keep students working hard and improving continuously [21]. Necessary evils are similar to Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior, given that individuals engage in both constructs with the intent to profit an organization. But the above definition reveals some characteristics, which differentiate necessary evils from Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Necessary evils could be also performed to advantage the society. But Unlike it, one may engage in unethical pro-Organizational Behavior to the detriment of customers, other external stakeholders and broader society [3,30]. Moreover, necessary evils comprise ethical actions, while Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior merely involves unethical actions. Furthermore, employees sometimes have to carry out necessary evils because it is part of his or her job [21]. However, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior is neither stipulated in the job description nor commanded by supervisors or the management of any organization [14]. But individuals still engage in it for the purpose of organization development.

Finally, in [22], Morrison brought another kind of positive deviance called Pro-Social Rule Breaking to the field of Organizational Behavior. The construct refers to unethical behaviors carried out with positive intention to advantage either the organization or its stakeholders [22]. Three facets of Pro-Social Rule Breaking were presented by Morrison [22] in the literature as following: a) rule breaking actions to conduct organizational tasks and duties in a more efficient way, b) rule breaking actions to assist co-worker with job tasks, and 3) actions that break rules in order to offer better service to customers. Like Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior, Pro-Social Rule Breaking consists of deviant acts that are intended to help the organization or benefit its members (e.g. co-workers). Obviously, Pro-Social Rule Breaking and Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior focus on behaviors that are unethical, and they both consider the motivations that are behind those behaviors. Although that Pro-Social Rule Breaking and Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior have some characteristics in common, there is a slight difference in their conceptions. Pro-Social Rule Breaking deviates from organizational norms that are established by the management of an organization [31]. In contrast, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior defies the global standards of social norms and values [3].

Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior may have common features with the above-mentioned constructs, whereas those constructs are slightly different in the literature since the main point of advantage and disadvantage vary according to the type of misbehavior [32].

Table 1. Characteristics of UPB versus Similar constructs.

Construct Commonalities Differences
UPB [3] Unethical: acts that deviate from the standard of society’s ethic values and moral Performed to the detriment of the society and stakeholders
Include only acts that are inconsistent with principles held in society
Beneficial: acts intended to profit an Organization or its members or both Rooted in Social Exchange Theory [27, 28]
Consider potential severity
Never required nor ordered by leaders or organization management
Constructive Deviance [16] Unethical: acts that defy hyper norms and values within society Do not reflect any intention
Could be consistent or not with either work group norms or societal principles
Organization Misbehavior [2, 6] Beneficial: could be conducted to benefit an organization Could be Self centered unethical actions
Include acts that are conform with organization norms while violate hyper norms, and vice-versa
Grounded in theory of reasoned action [24] and decision [25] and theories of social Information process [26]
Necessary Evils [21] Beneficial: could be carried out for an individual or an organization profit Also beneficial to society
Include ethical acts
Performed because they are part of a job’s requirement
Pro- Social Rule Breaking [22] Unethical and beneficial: conducted for the advantage of an organization Also benefit stakeholders
Inconsistent with organization norms

3. Antecedents

As highlighted previously, the concept of unethical pro-Organizational Behavior has been brought into the domain of Organizational behavior by Umphress & Bingham in 2010. The new construct has attracted many researchers’ attention, and the number of studies about the concept has gradually kept growing in these recent years. And throughout their studies, Organizational scholars have identified an important number of contextual drivers of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Some scholars used the social exchange theory [27,28] and social identity theory [33] as the basis when exploring the possible antecedents of Unethical pro-organizational behavior. But other scholars carried out their investigation beyond those two theories, and they focused on the relationship between the construct and the leadership style of an organization.

Umphress et al. [14] conducted two field empirical studies in order to investigate the relationship of Organizational identification to Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Organizational Identification is an important form of social classification, and it refers to how an individual perceives his or her belongingness and membership to his or her employing organization [34,35]. An individual who strongly identified with their organization may prefer to overlook his or her own moral standards and performs actions that benefit the organization, even though in turn those actions may harm others outside it [36]. However, the studies have shown that Organizational identification is neither related to the willingness of individuals to commit Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior nor to their actual engagement in Unethical pro-organizational Behavior. Within the same research, Umphress et al. [14] also examined the moderating role of positive reciprocity beliefs. Clark & Mills [37] argue that the degree to which the reciprocity in exchange relationship is endorsed differs from one individual to another. People, who have strong positive reciprocity beliefs, will feel the need or feel obligated to reciprocate the favorable actions they received from their exchange partners [38]. But, those who hold low positive reciprocity beliefs will not bother themselves to return whatever beneficial action to other people because they do not feel any obligation to reciprocate the behavior. The two field of studies supported that positive reciprocity beliefs moderate the positive relationship of Organizational identification with Unethical pro-organizational Behavior. More explicitly, the higher the positive reciprocity beliefs of employees are, the stronger the positive relationship between the two constructs will be [14].

Then, Matherne, III and Litchfield [32] first investigated the effect of Affective Commitment on Unethical pro-Organization Behavior and then, examined the role of moral identity as a moderator of a possible relationship between those two former constructs. They found that Affective commitment, which refers to individuals’ emotional bond for an organization [39], is positively linked to Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Moreover, they demonstrated through their research that high levels of moral identity lessen the positive association between affective commitment and Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Thus, people with greater levels of affective commitment are less inclined to commit Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior when they hold a strong level of moral identity [32].

And later, Miao et al. [40] broadened the domain of research and started to investigate the possible relationship of leadership styles of an organization and Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior. They undertook a three-wave survey as a means to determine the nature of the relationship of ethical leadership with Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. The study has clearly shown that there is a curvilinear or an inverted u-shaped relationship between the two constructs. Obviously, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior of individuals increases when the level of ethical leadership rises from low to moderate, but it diminishes once ethical leadership reaches a high level within an Organization. In the same study, Miao et al. [40] also considered another concept, known as Identification with supervisor and took it as a moderate variable in their research. They found support for the moderating role and stated that high levels of identification with supervisor cause the curvilinear relationship between ethical leadership and Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior to become stronger.

In the same year, Effelsberg et al. [30] adopted a consequentialist point of view in order to determine the ethicality of Transformational Leadership during their study. The concept of consequentialism implies that people could judge the morality of a behavior based on its consequences [41]. Effelsberg et al. [30] took Unethical pro-organizational Behavior as an outcome variable and carried out a two-study investigation to evaluate the relationship between Transformational Leadership and Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior of Followers. Both studies revealed that Transformational leadership is positively associated with the willingness of employees to engage in Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. Effelsberg et al. [30] also addressed the mediating role of Organizational identification and the moderating role of the personal disposition of employees toward unethical and ethical behavior in their studies. They found support for both mediation and moderation. Indeed, Organizational identification mediates the positive relationship between Transformational Leadership and individuals’ willingness to engage in Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior [30]. Therefore, like Transformational Leadership, Organization Identification is positively related to willingness to engage in Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. And the studies proved that the latter relationship is moderated by the personal disposition of individuals toward unethical and ethical Behavior. In a sense, the positive link between Organization identification and Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior strengthens for employees with a high disposition toward unethical behavior and weak for those with a low personal disposition toward unethical behavior [30]. In contrast, high employees’ personal disposition toward ethical behavior weakens the positive association between the two constructs, and low personal disposition toward ethical behavior reinforces that relationship [30].

Furthermore, based on person-situation perspective, Graham et al. [42] analyzed the potential effect of two-way interaction of Leadership style and framing and three-way interaction of the two first variables with promotion regulatory focus on Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. They chose Transformational Leadership and Transactional Leadership as leadership styles of interest in the study. On one hand, they discovered that leaders’ framing moderates the impact of leadership style on Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. When negative frame or loss language is used, Followers of inspirational and charismatic transformational leaders are more prone to perform Unethical pro-Organization Behavior than those of transactional Leaders. And on the other hand, the three-way interaction study they conducted has shown that the interactive effects of leadership style and leaders’ framing on Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior is moderated by promotion regulatory focus of individuals, meaning that by using loss or negative frame, inspirational and charismatic transformational leaders instigate greater levels of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior on employees with low promotion focus than transactional leaders.

And last, in 2015, Kong [43], an organizational scholar, examined the pathway to unethical pro-organizational behavior, and he has brought in a contradictory result to what some former organizational researchers found earlier. Umphress et al. [14] revealed that Organization identification alone could not stimulate Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. However, Kong [43] has advanced the literature on the latter variable throughout his two-time points surveys by proving that individual’s Organizational identification is positively associated with his or her Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior.

Along with the evolution of research on Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior, organizational scholars have discovered that several positive constructs (e.g. organization identification, positive reciprocity beliefs, identification with supervisor) and leadership styles (e.g. ethical leadership & transformational leadership), that previous literature assert to be conducive to beneficial outcomes, are also drivers of this other type of unethical behavior.

Table 2. Determinants of UPB.

Study Samples Theoretical Models Measurements Outcomes
[14] Study 1: 224 respondents Organizational Identification (OI) as predictor of UPB OI: 6-item measure, [44] High PRB moderates the association of OI with UPB
Positive reciprocity beliefs (PRB) as moderator of the relationship between OI and UPB
Study 2: 148 respondents UPB: developed 6-item scale [14]
UPB: the criterion variable
[32] 148 restaurant workers Affective Commitment (AC) as determinant of UPB AC: 6-item [39] High AC and MI cause high UPB
MI: 5-item subscale [45]
Moral Identity (MI) as moderator of the relationship between AC and UPB UPB: developed 5-item measure [32]
MI weakens the relationship of AC to UPB
UPB: as dependent variable
[40] 1st wave: 352 participants Ethical Leadership (EL) as predictor EL: 10-item IELS scale [46] Curvilinear relationship between EL & UPB
2nd wave: 252 participants Identification with supervisor (IS) as moderator
IS: 7-item scale [47]
3rd wave: 239 participants UPB as outcome UPB: 6-item [14] At high level of IS, the curvilinear relationship gets stronger

Table 2. Continued.

Study Samples Theoretical Model Measurements Outcomes
[30] Study 1: 290 respondents Transformational Leadership (TFL): predictor TFL: MLQ 5 x Short, [48] Positive relationship between TFL and UPB
OI: 6-item measure [44]
Organizational Identification (OI): as mediator Moderator: 5-item amorality subscale [31]/3-item fairness subscale [49] Positive mediation of OI on the relationship of TFL to UPB
Study 2: 390 respondents
Employees’ personal disposition toward E and U moderates the positive connection between OI and UPB
Employees’ personal disposition toward Ethical and Unethical Behavior as moderator
UPB: German version of 6-item scale [14]
UPB: as consequence
[42] 74 correspondents Leadership style: Transformational and Transactional Leadership: predictor TFL: script as in [50] Effect of Leadership style on UPB increases when Leader uses game frame
TSL: scenario as in [48]
Gain and Loss framings, Followers’ promotion regulatory focus (PRF) as moderator PRF: 3-item, [51]
At high level of PRF, effect of Leadership style On UPB decreases
UPB: 6-item [14]
UPB: criterion variable
[43] U.S employee (30% female) Organizational Identification (OI) and Mindfulness: as determinants OI: 6-item measure, [44] Significant relationship between OI and UPB
Mindfulness: 15-item, [52]
UPB: 6-item [14] Negative relationship between Mindfulness and UPB
UPB: as dependent variable

4. Consequences

Individuals engage in Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior with the intent or to foster the success of an organization or to benefit organizational members or to help both parties. The positive motivation that actors or perpetrators have when conducting the unethical actions makes Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior different from the self-centered unethical behavior and the destructive types of organizational deviance [9] including organizational deviance, interpersonal deviance and superior-directed deviance. However, Unethical pro-Organizational behavior is a risky behavior [40], and it remains partly negative because it is unethical behavior [14]. And some organizational scholars e.g. Graham et al., [42] highlighted the need to understand this latest construct because it may engender potential damaging effects on perpetrators, stakeholders, organizations, and even the broader society.

Umphress & Bingham [3] considered the potential effect on a perpetrator and suggested that guilt, shame and cognitive dissonance are probable consequences of Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. More explicitly, individuals who conducted Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior may feel guilty and ashamed of their unethical actions, and they may even feel dissonance since they realized that they committed unethical acts. But this theory needs to be proven throughout an empirical study. Besides, Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior implies a high risk for the organization, since it may harm the interest of stakeholders and ruin the organization` reputation. By lying about the products of an organization or falsifying financial figures of an organization or even concealing and destroying incriminating documents to protect an Organization, employees may undermine the trust of stakeholders, harm their interests and reinforce their suspicions about that organization [14]. They also cause damage to the legal standing of their employing organization [40] since those actions are illegal in most countries. In addition, as Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior deviates from the general standards of moral and values held in society [3], therefore, the construct could greatly affect both the organization and people outside it [15]. And based on social information processing theory [26], which asserts that colleagues impact cognition and attitude of individuals toward social environment and could further impact the behavior reaction, Xiaocun Shu [53] investigated whether there is a potential effect of Unethical behavior between co-workers. Drawing from two- wave survey data collected from 362 employees, they found that Unethical pro-Organization Behavior has contagion effect among organizational members at workplace, meaning that Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior of colleagues influences individuals ones in a positive way. The study also supported the mediating role of moral justification on the relationship of colleagues’ Unethical pro-Organizational behavior and individuals’ Unethical pro-organizational behavior.

5. Discussion and Suggestions

The analysis has revealed several important points about the major works delivered about Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior. On one hand, it has revealed some common aspects of the research done and completed on the construct over the years. First, the scholarly papers on Unethical Pro-organizational behavior written by Umphress et al. [14] and Umphress and Bingham [3] have become the substantive base of every research conducted about this topic. Researchers referred to those studies while developing and carrying out their investigations in this domain. Besides, the definition, elaborated by Umphress and Bingham [3] during the conceptualization of the construct, has been adopted in almost all papers written by scholars reporting their studies on the phenomenon. And, although Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior has its root in social exchange theory [27,28], organizational scholars have gone beyond that theory in order to discover every possible predictor of the construct. Therefore, Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior has been placed in various domains such as social identity and leadership in many investigations. But on the other hand, the analysis has highlighted some weaknesses in Unethical Pro-Organizational studies. Like unethical behavior, the phenomenon is present within an organization and could take place at every organization level. Since its inception, it has attracted interests of several organizational scholars. But up to these current days, the number of studies conducted about Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior is still low. Indeed, the construct of Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior is not a new phenomenon; nonetheless, it has been overlooked for several years in organization literature. Furthermore, there is a dearth of investigation on the potential consequences of the Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior. Except the effects (guilt, shame, and cognitive dissonance) on a perpetrator suggested by Umphress and Bingham [3] in their work, only one study has focused and revealed some effect of the phenomenon between co-workers. Last, Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior is unethical, whereas several people view it as an acceptable behavior because it is intended to support organization development.

For future research, it is important to further research on potential antecedents of Unethical Pro-organizational. Up to these current days, several studies have supported its relationship with numerous positive constructs such as organizational identification, affective commitment, transformational leadership and so on… Those positive constructs benefit a lot an organization and play a substantial role in boosting the performance, dedication and loyalty of employees at work. To reach the goals and ensure the success of their Organization, organization management generally works on generating positive constructs among their employees at workplace. But researchers have shown that while promoting those positive constructs, an organization faces a risk of enhancing Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior. As the latter construct is unethical, its association with any positive construct will not be good for either an organization or individuals or the society. Besides, scholars should also look deeper on possible effects of Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior. The positive nature of the phenomenon may help or support organization success or development, but will this effect last? Or is it just temporary? And as it is a risky behavior, it will certainly cause some negative impact on individual, organization and society. Advanced study on Unethical Pro-Organization Behavior will surely provide hints on how to discourage that kind of behavior at workplace.

6. Conclusion

This paper has focused on the development of studies about the concept of Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior. Unlike Unethical Behavior, this phenomenon is aimed to advance organization. And research has shown its positive association with several positive organizational constructs namely, organizational identification, affective commitment, transformational leadership positive reciprocity belief and many more. Although its half positive nature, Unethical Pro-organizational Behavior remains a risky behavior. Actually, it could negatively affect both organization and individuals at workplace. As it also violates general standards of ethics [3], society will certainly experience its devastating effect. The present study has not reviewed the evolution of measure used to assess Unethical pro-Organizational Behavior, but we hope to deal with it in future research.


I would like first to thank my family, particularly my mother and elder sister, for encouraging me along the way.

I also thank my supervisor Mrs LIN YING HUI, who guided me and helped me in my studies during these latest three years.

My gratitude goes also to my close friends who supported me all along the achievement of this article.


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