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UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR: A MODEL BASED ON PERSONALITY THEORY AND VALIDATED BY BIOGRAPHIC SIMULATION

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posted on 2023-09-06, 02:57 authored by Thomas Harold Murray

This research quantified the amount of unethical behavior in the federal executive branch. Unethical behavior was partitioned into two categories: convicted, defined as behavior which resulted in a conviction in a court of law, and unconvicted, defined as unethical behavior of a lesser degree. Data for convicted unethical behavior were collected from the national archives. A regression analysis of these data disclosed that convicted unethical behavior in the federal executive branch had a linear relationship of 17 cases per million employees with no significant variance in any administration over the past one hundred years. Data on unconvicted unethical behavior were collected using the Delphi Method with volunteers who were witting to the incidence of unconvicted unethical behavior. The Delphi Method disclosed that the incidence of unconvicted unethical behavior was ninety times greater than that of convicted unethical behavior. It also arrived at a consensus that the most common abuses of unconvicted unethical behavior were incidents involving abuses of resources, information, influence, time, and the acceptance of favors. These data suggested that this type of behavior was rooted within the individual personality and that a continuum existed with unethical behavior and ethical behavior as its poles. All individuals are located somewhere on this continuum. How one moves along this continuum is the analog of ethical/unethical behavior and is related to the dimensions of personality expressed in terms of Gittinger's Theory of Personality. A model of unethical/ethical behavior was formulated by combining Festinger's Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and Gittinger's Theory of Personality with this continuum. A biographic simulation using the personality dimensions of Robert E. Lee and Benedict Arnold was conducted to validate the model. The simulation correctly replicated the ethical behavior of Lee and the unethical behavior of Arnold. The causal factors of unethical behavior as posited appeared to be validated by the biographic simulation. The utility of biographic simulation and the Personality Assessment System in obtaining values relating to specific dimensions of individual personality appear to have been validated also.

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Publisher

American University

Language

English

Notes

Ph.D. American University 1985.

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:2218

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application/pdf

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Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

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