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Perceived Deviance Tolerance

Ming Kong, Yue Yuan

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Purpose Based on the emerging stream of research in moral psychology and behavioral ethics which shows that accessibility of moral constructs influences ethical decisions, judgments, and behaviors, perceived deviance tolerance (PDT) is defined as “leaders’ tolerance of deviance perceived by employees.” The purpose of this paper is to propose and empirically test a theoretical model that explains how and why PDT influences employees’ moral psychology and behaviors in interpersonal contexts. Design/methodology/approach The study takes 298 leaders and 429 employees from 16 large Chinese enterprises as samples. Findings Results across two studies provide consistent support for the proposed model and advance our understanding about how employees’ perception of leaders’ deviance tolerance influences their negative and positive behaviors. Originality/value Thus, findings of this research contribute to knowledge on the interpersonal effects of cognition in employees’ behaviors and enrich the application of social control theory.