The moral cascade: Distress, eustress, and the virtuous organization

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Organizational life increasingly shapes and is shaped by the moral life of individual employees. This paper offers a fresh approach to understanding the interactions among individual moral identity, the stated and unstated organizational values, and moral development of both the individual and the organization. A new theoretical framework, The Moral Cascade Model, posits that moral stress can have outcomes that enhance both the individual and the organization (moral eustress) or be a pernicious and destructive influence through a moral distress pathway that results in moral residue. The model provides new insights into why organizations would embrace moral dissonance as a means toward an increasingly virtuous organization. Implications for individual moral identity, including the intrapersonal experiences of moral prehension, moral stress, moral distress, and moral eustress are detailed, as are organizational manifestations and consequences. Avenues for further research are explored. © 2013 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Organizational Ethical Behavior

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