Title: Perceived ethicality of political behaviours in organisations: a constructivist grounded theory study

Authors: Sauvik Kumar Batabyal; Kanika T. Bhal

Addresses: Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, 110016, India ' Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, 110016, India

Abstract: Office politics is a part of everyday professional life. In this work, we have attempted to uncover the cognitive moral logic employees utilise with regard to political behaviour in organisations. To accomplish this, we applied the constructivist grounded theory methodology by conducting, recording, analysing and coding 27 in-depth semi-structured interviews of working individuals in various organisations. Our results revealed 13 rationalising tactics or neutralisation techniques for judging whether a given political behaviour was ethical or not unethical and six different rationales of mostly normative nature for perceiving political conduct as unethical. Moreover, it also revealed that while applying logic in the context of office politics, employees tend to use more than one logic-combination. The justifications for employee behaviour seemed to depend on the position and the nature of the individual. The practical implications, limitations of this study and future research directions are also discussed.

Keywords: perceived ethicality; moral logic; neutralisation; office politics; constructivist grounded theory; ethics.

DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2018.097776

Journal for Global Business Advancement, 2018 Vol.11 No.6, pp.706 - 725

Available online: 06 Feb 2019 *

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