Participation motives, moral disengagement, and unethical behaviour in idea competitions

Christian W. Scheiner, Christian V. Baccarella, John Bessant, Kai Ingo Voigt

1 Citation (Scopus)


Idea competitions are becoming increasingly used as a resource for supporting the front end and downstream acceleration of innovation. But unethical behaviour of participants in such competitions can be detrimental, both for the organiser and for the motivation of the participating community. We assume that unethical behaviour can be explained by examining personal motives for participation and their influence on moral disengagement (MD) in which people are able to disengage from the self-regulatory process that normally impedes individuals from acting in a way inconsistent with their own moral standards. We hypothesise that monetary motives as representative for extrinsic motives for participation are positively related to MD while hedonic motives as representative of intrinsic motives are negatively related to MD. Our findings offer support for the positive relationship between MD and the tendency to make unethical decisions. Moreover, our results confirm a negative relationship between hedonic benefits and unethical behaviour. In addition, MD mediates the relationship between participants' motivation for hedonic benefits and the tendency to make unethical decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1850043
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2018


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