Wrongdoing by consultants: An examination of employees' reporting intentions

Susan Ayers, Steven Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Organizations are increasingly embedded with consultants and other non-employees who have the opportunity to engage in wrongdoing. However research exploring the reporting intentions of employees regarding the discovery of wrongdoing by consultants is scant. It is important to examine reporting intentions in this setting given the enhanced presence of consultants in organizations and the fact that wrongdoing by consultants changes a key characteristic of the wrongdoing. Using an experimental approach the current paper reports the results of a study examining employees' reporting intentions subsequent to their discovery of wrongdoing by a consultant. The results of the study indicate that perceptions about the seriousness of a wrongdoing personal costs and personal responsibility related to reporting a wrongdoing and moral-equity judgments are significantly associated with reporting intentions for a normal (non-anonymous) reporting channel. Only perceptions of seriousness and personal costs are significantly associated for an anonymous reporting channel. Lastly while personal costs for the anonymous reporting channel were lower than the normal reporting channel reporting intentions were similar across the two channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Moral-equity
  • Personal cost
  • Personal responsibility
  • Reporting channels
  • Seriousness
  • Wrongdoing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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