One of the health psychological functions which help
people to share their feelings and thoughts with other people and show more
altruistic and cooperative behaviours toward others is empathy (Cropanzano
et al, 2017).
Some social psychology researchers have highlighted the role of empathy in
morality (e.g., Batson 2009; Eisenberg and Fabes 1990; Tyler et al. 1997;
Yip and Schweitzer (2016) found that empathy mediates the relationship between anger
and deception. Low levels of empathy to organizations have strong impact on the
link between anger and unethical behaviour. People who are angry have more
intention to engage in unethical behaviours depending on their levels of
empathy to organization. Additional evidences showed that empathy increases
employees’ carefulness about justice judgments and decline their intention to
blame victims because of their own moral conditions (e.g., Aderman et
al., 1974); Patient and Skarlicki, 2010). In another study, Cropanzano,
Massaro & Becker (2017) indicated that individuals endeavour for applying
justice rules is related to their cognitive and affective empathy to another
person or organization, in order to that the probability of their effort to
apply justice rules increase when they experience cognitive and affective
empathy to the organization. Cognitive empathy refers to understanding the
other peoples feeling and thinking through deliberative thought. While,
affective empathy is sharing the emotional experiences with other people such
as coworkers in the organization (Walter, 2012).
mediators and moderators of the relationship between organizational unfairness
and ethical/unethical behaviour
Moral identity is a moderator between unfairness and
unethical behaviour. People who have experienced unfairness have more intention
to engage in unethical behaviours depending on their levels of moral identity.
Moral identity decreases the effects of unfairness on unethical behaviour. Sanders,
S., Wisse, B., Van Yperen, N. W., & Rus, D.
that in higher levels of moral identity, authentically proud leaders act more
ethically (i.e., act in a more selfless and honest way) than hubristically
proud leaders. In addition, other findings illustrate that managers with high
levels of moral identity are more intended to punish transgressors such as
unjust coworkers than managers with low levels of moral identity (Skarlicki
and Rupp 2010).
By emphasizing the different aspects of
justice/injustice, researchers have been referred to some of the moderators and
mediators in distributive justice such as personality factors, equity
sensitivity, a construct which refers to sensitivity for capturing the
differences between input/outcome ration (Huseman,
HatWeld, & Miles, 1987) and motivation (Zapata-Phelan, Colquitt, Scott
& Livingston, 2009).
About the moderators of procedural justice there has been referred to locus of
control (Sweeney, McFarlin, & Cotton, 1991), delay of gratification (Joy
& Witt, 1992), sensitivity to befallen injustice (SBI; Schmitt and Dorfel, 1999), self-esteem
(Brockner et al., 1998) and exchange ideology (Witt, Kacmar, & Andrews,
2001), and the belief in a just world (Hagedoorn, Buunk, and van de Vliert,
2002). Also, some of the moderators of interactional justice are agreeableness
(Skarlicki et al., 1999) and self-esteem (Heuer, Blumenthal, Douglas, and
Weinblatt, 1999). On the integrative theories (named “integrative wave” of the
justice literature; Colquitt et al., 2005), researchers have indicated trust propensity, risk aversion (tolerance of risk) and morality (Colquitt, Scott, Judge
and Shaw, 2006).