Who Approves Fraudulence? Configurational Causes of Consumers’ Unethical Judgments
Corrupt behavior presents major challenges for organizations in a wide range of settings. This article embraces a complexity theoretical perspective to elucidate the causal patterns of factors underlying consumers’ unethical judgments. This study examines how causal conditions of four distinct domains combine into configurational causes of unethical judgments of two frequent forms of corrupt consumer behavior: shoplifting and fare dodging. The findings of fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analyses indicate alternative, consistently sufficient “recipes” for the outcomes of interest. This study extends prior work on the topic by offering new insights into the interplay and the interconnected structures of multiple causal factors and by describing configurational causes of consumers’ ethical evaluations of corrupt behaviors. This knowledge may support practitioners and policy makers to develop education and control approaches to thwart corrupt consumer behaviors.