Nistler CoBPA Faculty Research

Celebrate the impact of our research.

Dr. Sean Valentine and Dr. Amy Henley Receive Best Paper Award at the Academy of Business Research Conference

Dr. Sean Valentine

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sean Valentine, Professor of Management and Chair of the Middleton School of Entrepreneurship & Management, and Dr. Amy Henley, Professor of Management and Dean of the Nistler College of Business, for their paper that was recently presented by Dr. Valentine at the Academy of Business Research Conference in Biloxi, MS held November 15 – November 17, 2023. The paper also received a Best Paper Award.

Title: “The Dark Tetrad at Work and Employees’ Moral Disengagement and Unethical Behavior”

Authors: Sean Valentine (University of North Dakota), Robert Giacalone (Texas State University), and Amy Henley (University of North Dakota)

Abstract: Dark personality characteristics motivate employees to reason and act in ways that are self-serving, harmful to others, and inherently unethical. However, little is known about how traits such as narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and

Dr. Amy Henley

sadism, elements of the Dark Tetrad, may encourage individuals to disengage from their moral convictions and behave unethically work. Drawing primarily from the theory of planned behavior, this study investigates the degree to which employees’ expression of the Dark Tetrad at work is related to their moral disengagement and unethical behavior. When considering the Dark Tetrad traits together, results indicated that psychopathy and sadism were the most prominent predictors of moral disengagement, while moral disengagement and Machiavellianism were the strongest predictors of unethical behavior. When considering Dark Tetrad traits individually, results showed that Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism were positively related to moral disengagement, and all four traits positively related either directly or indirectly to unethical behavior. Organizations should take steps to mitigate employees’ expression of the Dark Tetrad, providing stronger situational cues that reduce individual tendencies to morally disengage and behave unethically.