To date, only one empirically tested measure of the observed frequency of unethical behavior in the workplace exists. This widely used measure focuses on intraorganizational cheating and thus covers only a limited part of the much broader spectrum of unethical behaviors in the workplace. Given the importance of a valid measure, this article uses stakeholder theory as a conceptual basis to develop a broader and multidimensional measure of unethical behavior in eight consecutive steps. Exploratory factor analysis generates five subscales comprising 37 items of unethical behavior primarily related to financiers, customers, employees, suppliers, and society. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrates that a five-factor model has a superior fit to a one-factor model. The subscales display good internal reliability. Preliminary evidence of nomological and criterion-related validity is also provided.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Kaptein, M. (2008). Developing a measure of unethical behavior in the Workplace: A stakeholder perspective. Journal of Management, 34(5), 978–1008. doi:10.1177/0149206308318614