Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Leaving a Legacy: Intergenerational Allocations of Benefits and Burdens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2015

Abstract

In six experiments, we investigated the role of resource valence in intergenerational attitudes and allocations. We found that, compared to benefits, allocating burdens intergenerationally increased concern with one’s legacy, heightened ethical concerns, intensified moral emotions (e.g., guilt, shame), and led to feelings of greater responsibility for and affinity with future generations. We argue that, because of greater concern with legacies and the associated moral implications of one’s decisions, allocating burdens leads to greater intergenerational generosity as compared to benefits. Our data provide support for this effect across a range of contexts. Our results also indicate that the differential effect of benefits versus burdens in intergenerational contexts depends on the presence of two important structural characteristics that help enact concerns about legacies, including (1) future impact of decisions, and (2) a self-other tradeoff. Overall, our findings highlight how considering resource valence brings to the fore a number of key psychological characteristics of intergenerational decisions—especially as they relate to legacies and ethics.

Type
Special Issue Behavioral Ethics: A New Empirical Perspective on Business Ethics Research
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Business Ethics 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Abele, A. 1985. Thinking about thinking: Causal, evaluative, and finalistic cognitions about social situations. European Journal of Social Psychology, 15: 31532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barry, B. 1989. Theories of justice. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. 2001. Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5: 32370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Becker, E. 1973. The denial of death. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Blanz, M., Mummendey, A., & Otten, S. 1997. Normative evaluations and frequency expectations regarding positive versus negative outcome allocations between groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 27: 16576.3.0.CO;2-3>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bohner, G., Bless, H., Schwartz, N., & Strack, F. 1988. What triggers causal attributions? The impact of valence and subjective probability. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18: 33545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bolton, G., Katok, E., & Zwick, R. 1998. Dictator game giving: Fairness versus random acts of kindness. The International Journal of Game Theory, 27: 26999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, S., Lee-Chai, A. Y., & Bargh, J. A. 2001. Relationship orientation as a moderator of the effects of social power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80: 17387.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chugh, D., Banaji, M., & Bazerman, M. 2005. Bounded ethicality as a psychological barrier to recognizing conflicts of interest. In Moore, D., Cain, D., Loewenstein, G., & Bazerman, M. (Eds.), Conflicts of interest: Challenges and solutions in business, law, medicine, and public policy. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
De Cremer, D. Forthcoming. Psychology and ethics: What it takes to feel ethical when being unethical. In De Cremer, D. (Ed.), Psychological perspectives on ethical behavior and decision making, 313. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
de St. Aubin, E., McAdams, D. P., & Kim, T. 2004. The generative society: Caring for future generations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eisenberg, N. 2001. Emotion, regulation, and moral development. Annual Review of Psychology, 51: 66597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elster, J. 1992. Local Justice. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Forsythe, R., Horowitz, J. L., Savin, N. E., & Sefton, M. 1994. Fairness in simple bargaining experiments. Games and Economic Behavior, 6: 34769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fox, M., Tost, L. P., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2009. The legacy motive as a catalyst for sustainable and ethical decision making in organizations. Working paper, Duke University.Google Scholar
Fudge, R. S., & Schlacter, J. L. 1999. Motivating employees to act ethically: an expectancy theory approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 18: 295304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gaertner, S. L., Mann, J., Murrell, A. & Dovidio, J. F. 1989. Reducing intergroup bias: The benefits of recategorization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57: 23949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Galinsky, A. D., Gruenfeld, D. H., & Magee, J. C. 2003. From Power to Action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85: 45366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gollwitzer, P. M., Heckhausen, H., & Steller, B. 1990. Deliberative and implemental mindsets: Cognitive tuning toward congruous thoughts and information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59: 111927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grant, A. M., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2009. The hot and cool of death awareness at work: Mortality cues, aging, and self-protective and prosocial motivations. Academy of Management Review, 34: 60022.Google Scholar
Griffith, W. I., & Sell, J. 1988. The effects of competition on allocators’ preferences for contributive and retributive justice rules. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18: 44355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haidt, J. 2001. The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108: 81434.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Haidt, J. 2003. The moral emotions. In Davidson, R. J., Scherer, K. R., & Goldsmith, H. H. (Eds). Handbook of affective sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hernandez, M., Chen, Y., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2006. Toward an understanding of psychological distance reduction between generations: A cross-cultural perspective. In Chen, Y. (Ed.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams, vol. 9: National Culture and Groups: 320. Greenwich, CT: Elsevier Science Press.Google Scholar
Hoffman, E., McCabe, K., & Smith, V. L. 1996. Social distance and other-regarding behavior in dictator games. American Economic Review, 86: 65360.Google Scholar
Kotlikoff, L. J. 1992. Generational accounting. New York: The Free Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kotre, J. 1984. Outliving the self: How we live on in future generations. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
Lamm, H., & Kayser, E. 1978. The allocation of monetary gain and loss following dyadic performance: The weight given to effort and ability under conditions of low and high intra-dyadic attraction. European Journal of Social Psychology, 8: 27578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lantos, G. P. 1999. Motivating moral corporate behavior. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 16: 22233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loewenstein, G. F. 1992. The fall and rise of psychological explanations in the economics of intertemporal choice. In Loewenstein, G. and Elster, J. (Eds.), Choice Over Time: 334. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
Loewenstein, G. F, Thompson, L., & Bazerman, M. H. 1989. Social utility and decision making in interpersonal contexts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57: 42641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mannix, E. A., Neale, M. A., & Northcraft, G. B. 1995. Equity, equality, or need? The effects of organizational culture on the allocation of benefits and burdens. Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes, 63: 27686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McAdams, D. P. 1985. Power, intimacy, and the life story: Personological inquiries into identity. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
McAdams, D. P., & de St. Aubin, E. 1992. A theory of generativity and its assessment through self-report, behavioral acts, and narrative themes in autobiography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62: 100315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mikula, G. 1980. On the role of justice in allocation decisions. In Mikula, G. (Ed.), Justice and Social Interaction: Experimental and Theoretical Contributions from Psychological Research: 12767. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
Mummendey, A., Simon, B., Dietze, C., Grunert, M., Haeger, G., Kessler, S., Lettgen, S., & Schaferhoff, S. 1992. Categorization is not enough: Intergroup discrimination in negative outcome allocation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 28: 12544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Northcraft, G. B., Neale, M. A., Tenbrunsel, A., & Thomas, M. 1996. Benefits and burdens: Does it really matter what we allocate? Social Justice Research, 9: 2745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Okhuysen, G. A., Galinsky, A. D., & Uptigrove, T. A. 2003. Saving the worst for last: The effect of time horizon on the efficiency of negotiating benefits and burdens. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 91: 26979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Otten, S., & Mummendey, A. 1999. To our benefit or at your expense? Justice considerations in intergroup allocations of positive and negative resources. Social Justice Research, 12: 1938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Overbeck, J. R., & Park, B. 2001. When power does not corrupt: Superior individuation processes among powerful perceivers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81: 54965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peeters, G., & Czapinski, J. 1990. Positive-negative asymmetry in evaluations: The distinction between affective and informational negativity effects. European Review of Social Psychology, 1: 360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Portney, P. R., & Weyant, J. P. 1999. Discounting and intergenerational equity. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.Google Scholar
Pratto, F., & John, O. P. 1991. Automatic vigilance: The attention-grabbing power of negative social information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61 38091.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Richards, D. A. J. 1981. Contractarian theory, intergenerational justice, and energy policy. In MacLean, D. & Brown, P. G. (Eds.), Energy and the future: 13150. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Rossi, A. S. 2001. Caring and doing for others: Social responsibility in the domains of family, work, and community. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Sondak, H., Neale, M. A., & Pinkley, R. L. 1995. The negotiated allocation of benefits and burdens: The impact of outcome valence, contribution, and relationship. Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes, 64: 24960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sondak, H. and Tyler, T. 2007. What shouldn’t money buy? The psychology of alternative allocation procedures for benefits and burdens in groups. Working paper, University of Utah.Google Scholar
Tajfel, H. 1982. Social Identity and Intergroup Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tangney, J. P. 1991. Moral affect: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61: 598607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, S. E. 1991. Asymmetrical effects of positive and negative events: The mobilization-minimization hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 11: 6785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tenbrunsel, A. E., Diekmann, K. A., Wade-Benzoni, K. A., & Bazerman, M. H. Forthcoming. The Ethical Mirage: A temporal explanation as to why we aren’t as ethical as we think we are. Research in Organizational Behavior.Google Scholar
Törnblom, K. Y. 1988. Positive and negative allocation: A typology and model for conflicting justice principles. In Lawler, E. & Markovsky, B. (Eds.), Advances in Group Processes: 14165. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
Tost, L. P., Hernandez, M., & Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2008. Pushing the boundaries: A review and extension of the psychological dynamics of intergenerational conflict in organizations. Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management, 27: 93147.Google Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 1999. Thinking about the future: An intergenerational perspective on the conflict and compatibility between economic and environmental interests. American Behavioral Scientist, 42: 13931405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2002. A golden rule over time: Reciprocity in intergenerational allocation decisions. Academy of Management Journal, 45: 101128.Google Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2003. Intergenerational identification and cooperation in organizations and society. In Neale, M., Mannix, E., & Polzer, J. (Eds.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams, vol. 5: Identity Issues in Groups, 25777. Stamford, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2006a. Giving future generations a voice. In Schneider, A. & Honeyman, C. (Eds.), The Negotiator’s Fieldbook: 21523. American Bar Association Books.Google Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2006b. Legacies, immortality, and the future: The psychology of intergenerational altruism. In Tenbrunsel, A. (Ed.), Research on Managing Groups and Teams, vol. 8: Ethics in Groups: 24770. Greenwich, CT: Elsevier Science Press.Google Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A. 2008. Maple trees and weeping willows: The role of time, uncertainty, and affinity in intergenerational decisions. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 1(3): 22045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A., Hernandez, M., Medvec, V., & Messick, D. 2008. In fairness to future generations: The role of egocentrism, uncertainty, power, & stewardship in judgments of intergenerational allocations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44: 23345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A., Rousseau, D. M., & Li, M. 2006. Managing relationships across generations of academics: Psychological contracts in faculty-doctoral student collaborations. International Journal of Conflict Management, 17(1): 433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wade-Benzoni, K. A., & Tost, L. P. 2009. The egoism and altruism of intergenerational behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13: 16593.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weiner, B. 1985. “Spontaneous” causal thinking. Psychological Bulletin, 97: 7484.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Weiss, E. B. 1989. In fairness to future generations: International law, common patrimony, and intergenerational equity. New York: Transnational Publishers.Google Scholar
Zhong, C., Liljenquist, K. 2006. Washing away your sins: threatened morality and physical cleansing. Science, 313: 145152.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 97 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st January 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-76cb886bbf-wsww6 Total loading time: 0.75 Render date: 2021-01-21T09:11:58.915Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Leaving a Legacy: Intergenerational Allocations of Benefits and Burdens
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Leaving a Legacy: Intergenerational Allocations of Benefits and Burdens
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Leaving a Legacy: Intergenerational Allocations of Benefits and Burdens
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *