The Exposed Self: A Multilevel Model of Shame and Ethical Behavior

Steven A. Murphy, Sandra Kiffin-Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we review the shame and ethical behavior literature in order to more fully develop theory and testable propositions for organizational scholars focusing on the behavioral implications of this ‘moral’ emotion. We propose a dual pathway multilevel model that incorporates complex relationships between felt and anticipatory shame processes and ethical behavior, both within and between persons and at the collective level. We propose a holistic treatment of shame that includes dispositional and organizational (contextual) influences on the cognitive and emotional forces that shape ethical behavior in organizations. The implications of our review of shame for ethical behavior, organizations, and concrete research action are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-675
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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