Title: The relationship between perceived moral intensity and business ethical sensitivity of Chinese insurance agents: the mediating role of empathy

Authors: Na Zhang; Jian Zhang; Jing Wang

Addresses: School of Economics and Management, Beijing Information Science and Technology University, No. 2 East Qinghexiaoying Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100192, China ' Donlinks School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, No. 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, China ' School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, No. 37 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100191, China

Abstract: Insurance agents' business ethics and social image represent an industrial image for the public. However, previous research on insurance agents has mainly focused on the industrial and organisational-level; individual-level research on personal insurance agents' psychology and behaviour, which is the foundation and core of the management of an insurance company, has received the least attention. The present study introduces empathy, a moral emotion, into the issue-contingent model to explore the influence of perceived moral intensity on the business ethical sensitivity of Chinese insurance agents. Through the regression analysis of 417 insurance agents, it is found that perceived moral intensity is a significant positive function of business ethical sensitivity. Furthermore, empathy has a full mediation effect in the relationship between perceived moral intensity and business ethical sensitivity. The integrated model of perceived moral intensity, individual's empathy and business ethical sensitivity makes several contributions to service research and management.

Keywords: moral intensity; business ethical sensitivity; empathy; emotional contagion; perspective taking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2019.098208

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2019 Vol.25 No.2, pp.160 - 178

Available online: 11 Feb 2019 *

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