Moral licensing effect; Organizational citizenship behavior; Organizational deviance; In-group identification; Moral self-concept; Multilevel path analysis
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the moral licensing effect of other in-group members' organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) on focal employees' organizational deviance through moral self-concept. This paper also examines the moderating role of in-group identification in the mediated relationship. Design/methodology/approach The multilevel path analysis and bootstrapping technique are employed to analyze the findings of a sample of 340 employees in 56 workgroups in Vietnam. Findings The results demonstrate that moral self-concept mediates the positive relationship between other in-group members' OCB and focal employees' organizational deviance. Furthermore, the findings indicate that in-group identification strengthens the indirect effect of other in-group members' OCB on focal employees' organizational deviance via moral self-concept. Practical implications The findings suggest that managers should be aware of the potential negative consequences of OCB and the drawbacks of in-group identification in group contexts. In addition, practitioners should proactively prevent other in-group members' OCB from resulting in employees' organizational deviance. Originality/value This is the first study to examine the moral licensing effect of OCB on organizational deviance through the moral self-concept mechanism and the moderating role of in-group identification in this mediated relationship.