Moral licensing: a culture-moderated meta-analysis

Simbrunner, Philipp and Schlegelmilch, Bodo B. ORCID: (2017) Moral licensing: a culture-moderated meta-analysis. Management Review Quarterly, 67 (4). pp. 201-225. ISSN 2198-1620

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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Moral licensing is a cognitive bias, which enables individuals to behave immorally without threatening their self-image of being a moral person. We investigate this phenomenon in a cross-cultural marketing context. More specifically, this paper addresses the questions (i) how big moral licensing effects typically are and (ii) which factors systematically influence the size of this effect. We approach these questions by conducting a meta-analysis and a meta-regression. Based on a random effects model, the point estimate for the generalized effect size Cohen's d is 0.319 (SE = 0.046; N = 106). Results of a meta-regression advance theory, by showing for the first time that both cultural background and type of comparison explain a substantial amount of the total variation of the effect size of moral licensing. Marketing practitioners wishing to capitalize on moral licensing effects should therefore consider cross-cultural difference, since marketing measures building on this effect may lead to different revenues in different countries.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open access funding provided by Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).
Keywords: moral licensing / meta-analysis / cross-cultural research / behavioral economics / cognitive bias
Classification Codes: JEL M30, M31, M39
Divisions: Departments > Marketing > Internationales Marketing Management
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2017 11:45
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 09:13
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