This chapter explores these psychological interpersonal consequences of unethical work behavior, but focuses on who reacts most negatively to such indiscrestions and why. We base our analysis on ethics positions theory (EPT), which suggests that people's reactions in morally toned situations can be traced to variations in their intuitive, personal moral philosophies (Forsyth, 1980). After summarizing the theory and its basic assumptions, we examine the relationship between these variations in moral philosophies and well-being, focusing on the way people respond, psychologically and emotionally, when they act in morally evaluable ways. We then shift the analysis up to the group level to consider the impact of diversity in moral outlook on the workplace relationships, for when individuals who adopt differing moral philosophies must work together, the result may be moral anomie, interpersonal conflict, and distrust. We then conclude by considering some managerial and leadership implications of the ethics position theory perspective for promoting workplace adjustment and well-being.

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Copyright © 2013 M.E. Sharpe. This book chapter first appeared in Handbook of Unethical Work Behavior: Implications for Individual Well-Being.

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