The generation and function of moral emotions in teams: An integrative review

Marie T. Dasborough, Sean T. Hannah, Weichun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


By considering moral emotions in light of a team context, we offer a new way of thinking about the socially embedded nature of moral emotions and how they influence various types of ethical behaviors in teams. To achieve this goal, we review the key literature on moral emotions within teams. We integrate this literature with Bandura's (1991, 2002, 2008) theory of moral thought and action, coupled with the social functional account of emotions (Keltner & Haidt, 1999) to examine how team norms are connected, through their influence on individual team members' moral emotions, to ethical behavior within team contexts. This review and integration highlights how team norms regarding moral approbation and moral perspective taking influence members' proscriptive (e.g., fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment) and prescriptive (e.g., sympathy/compassion, pride) moral emotions. In turn, each of these moral emotions has unique action tendencies linked to 1 or more of 3 different types of ethical behaviors witnessed in teams: compliance behaviors, humanistic behaviors, and supererogatory behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-452
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Ethical behaviors
  • Moral approbation norms
  • Moral emotions
  • Perspective-taking norms
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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