TitleDifferent hats, different obligations: Plural occupational identities and situated moral judgments.
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLeavitt, K, Reynolds, SJ, Barnes, CM, Schilpzand, P, Hannah, ST
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Date Published2012

It is well understood that moral identity substantially influences moral judgments. However, occupational identities are also replete with moral content, and individuals may have multiple occupational identities within a given work role (e.g., engineer-manager). Consequently, we apply the lenses of moral universalism and moral particularism to categorize occupational identities and explore their moral prescriptions. We present and test a model of occupational identities as implicitly-held and dynamically-activated knowledge structures, cued by context and containing associated content about the absolute and/or relationship-dependent moral obligations owed by the actor to stakeholders. Results from one field study and two situated experiments with dual-occupation individuals indicate that moral obligations embedded in occupational identities influence actors’ work-role moral judgments in a predictable and meaningful manner.