Assistant Professor Sean McMahon co-authored an article about the consequences of ethical lapses in businesses.
Sean McMahon, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, co-authored an article titled “Better than ever? Employee reactions to ethical failures in organizations, and the ethical recovery paradox,” which appears in the March 2014 issue of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
McMahon conducted research for the study with Marshall Schminke, James Caldwell and Maureen L. Ambrose.
The article focuses on the effects of ethical failures in businesses and how successfully a company can recover from such lapses. The studies indicate that effective recovery efforts made by a company can often reverse the negative impact on employees from witnessing unethical behavior.
The abstract reads:
“This research examines organizational attempts to recover internally from ethical failures witnessed by employees. Drawing on research on service failure recovery, relationship repair, and behavioral ethics, we investigate how witnessing unethical acts in an organization impacts employees and their relationship with their organization. In two studies—one in the lab and one in the field—we examine the extent to which it is possible for organizations to recover fully from these ethical lapses. Results reveal an ethical recovery paradox, in which exemplary organizational efforts to recover internally from ethical failure may enhance employee perceptions of the organization to a more positive level than if no ethical failure had occurred.”
McMahon has also published other articles on ethical behavior, leadership, and employee creativity.