Moral Licensing: A Culture-Moderated Meta-Analysis Management Review Quarterly.

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Moral licensing is a cognitive bias, which enables individuals to behave immorally without threatening their self-image of being a moral person. We investigate this phenomenon in a cross-cultural marketing context. More specifically, this paper addresses the questions (i) how big moral licensing effects typically are and (ii) which factors systematically influence the size of this effect. We approach these questions by conducting a meta-analysis and a meta-regression. Based on a random effects model, the point estimate for the generalized effect size Cohen’s d is 0.319 (SE = 0.046; N = 106). Results of a meta-regression advance theory, by showing for the first time that both cultural background and type of comparison explain a substantial amount of the total variation of the effect size of moral licensing. Marketing practitioners wishing to capitalize on moral licensing effects should therefore consider cross-cultural difference, since marketing measures building on this effect may lead to different revenues in different countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201 - 225
JournalManagement Review Quarterly
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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