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Employees with high thinking skills are more likely to recover from failure and not repeat offenses

May 9, 2022

Professionals with a greater ability to self-reflect and regulate their moral behavior are more likely to bounce back after a failure. This is because they can look at their past moral failures, which momentarily diverted them from their “moral compass,” and reprogram themselves to act better from then on.

This is one of the findings of a study that investigated how moral disengagement works in organizations.

“Although self-efficacious individuals are generally more self-regulated and motivated to behave according to their standards, this does not mean they are morally infallible,” says researcher Roberta Fida of Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia (UEA). “However, we show that morally more effective individuals are more likely to ‘bounce back’ after a failure and learn from their mistakes. This is because they have the resources to restore their moral compass, consciously re-engage morally, and are therefore less likely to continue justifying and engaging in wrongdoing.”

The study “Resisting moral disengagement: moral self-efficacy as a moderator in routine counterproductive behavior” was conducted with the support of the Italian National Institute for Workplace Accident Insurance (Inail) and involved 1,308 Italian employees, who were interviewed three times over a three-month period. 

Source: SAGE