Monetary Intelligence and Behavioral Economics: The Enron Effect—Love of Money, Corporate Ethical Values, Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and Dishonesty Across 31 Geopolitical Entities

Thomas Li Ping Tang*, Toto Sutarso, Mahfooz A. Ansari, Vivien K.G. Lim, Thompson S.H. Teo, Fernando Arias-Galicia, Ilya E. Garber, Randy Ki Kwan Chiu, Brigitte Charles-Pauvers, Roberto Luna-Arocas, Peter Vlerick, Adebowale Akande, Michael W. Allen, Abdulgawi Salim Al-Zubaidi, Mark G. Borg, Bor Shiuan Cheng, Rosario Correia, Linzhi Du, Consuelo Garcia de la Torre, Abdul Hamid Safwat IbrahimChin Kang Jen, Ali Mahdi Kazem, Kilsun Kim, Jian Liang, Eva Malovics, Alice S. Moreira, Richard T. Mpoyi, Anthony Ugochukwu Obiajulu Nnedum, Johnsto E. Osagie, AAhad A.M. Osman-Gani, Mehmet Ferhat Özbek, Francisco José Costa Pereira, Ruja Pholsward, Horia D. Pitariu, Marko Polic, Elisaveta Gjorgji Sardžoska, Petar Skobic, Allen F. Stembridge, Theresa Li Na Tang, Caroline Urbain, Martina Trontelj, Luigina Canova, Anna Maria Manganelli, Jingqiu Chen, Ningyu Tang, Bolanle E. Adetoun, Modupe F. Adewuyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Monetary intelligence theory asserts that individuals apply their money attitude to frame critical concerns in the context and strategically select certain options to achieve financial goals and ultimate happiness. This study explores the dark side of monetary Intelligence and behavioral economics—dishonesty (corruption). Dishonesty, a risky prospect, involves cost–benefit analysis of self-interest. We frame good or bad barrels in the environmental context as a proxy of high or low probability of getting caught for dishonesty, respectively. We theorize: The magnitude and intensity of the relationship between love of money and dishonest prospect (dishonesty) may reveal how individuals frame dishonesty in the context of two levels of subjective norm—perceived corporate ethical values at the micro-level (CEV, Level 1) and Corruption Perceptions Index at the macro-level (CPI, Level 2), collected from multiple sources. Based on 6382 managers in 31 geopolitical entities across six continents, our cross-level three-way interaction effect illustrates: As expected, managers in good barrels (high CEV/high CPI), mixed barrels (low CEV/high CPI or high CEV/low CPI), and bad barrels (low CEV/low CPI) display low, medium, and high magnitude of dishonesty, respectively. With high CEV, the intensity is the same across cultures. With low CEV, the intensity of dishonesty is the highest in high CPI entities (risk seeking of high probability)—the Enron Effect, but thelowest in low CPI entities (risk aversion of low probability). CPI has a strong impact on the magnitude of dishonesty, whereas CEV has a strong impact on the intensity of dishonesty. We demonstrate dishonesty in light of monetary values and two frames of social norm, revealing critical implications to the field of behavioral economics and business ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-937
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Barrels
  • Behavioral intention/Behavioral ethics
  • CPI
  • Corruption
  • Cross-cultural
  • FDI
  • GDP
  • Global economic pyramid
  • Good/bad apples
  • Human resource management
  • Love of money
  • Multilevel
  • Prospect theory
  • Risk aversion
  • Risk seeking
  • Theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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