A Study of the Dark Triad, Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior, and Counterproductive Work Behavior: the Moderation of Equity Sensitivity and Organizational Justice

Project Details


Scandals such as frauds, falsification and fabrication of products have been getting usual andcommon in the workplace. The effects of these unethical work behavior are looming large and inflictinga great loss upon organizations. It is reported that 33-75% employees admit that they have performedsome kind of counterproductive work behavior. A loss of forty to fifty billion US dollars is estimatedper annum due to employee theft problems in the US industries (Murphy, 1993). The investigation ofthe causes to the counterproductive work behavior becomes an urgent issue for organizational behaviorresearchers and managers. In addition to the direct financial loss, employees’ unethical behavior inflictsadditional hidden cost upon organizations because of organizational ineffectiveness and the loss ofhuman capital. Moreover, employees may do bad things for good reasons. Some scandals occurred inorganizations, such as boosting the stock price via “creative accounting,” are originally intended tofabricate organizational performance and hide the loss from stakeholders’ oversight. Therefore,employees’ unethical pro-organizational behavior could not only be used for the interests of thestakeholders of a struggling company, but also deemed justified because it benefits employees andshareholders.This study aims to explore the effect of Dark Triad, i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, andpsychopathy, on employees’ unethical pro-organizational behavior and counterproductive workbehavior. The moderation of individuals’ equity sensitivity and organizational justice is incorporatedinto the research framework for a better understanding of the interaction of individual and organizationalvariables. Data will be collected through the two-stage questionnaire distribution to employees in thefinancing and IT industries as well as the public sector. SPSS macro PROCESS model 2 and model 10will be adopted to test the main effects and moderated mediation effects. Based on the results andfindings, managerial implications and suggestions for future research will be thus discussed.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Dark Triad
  • Machiavellianism
  • narcissism
  • psychopathy
  • unethical pro-organizational behavior
  • counterproductive work behavior


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