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Journal Articles Business Strategy and the Environment Year : 2022

The Effect of Distance on the Moral Judgment of Environmental Wrongdoings

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Abstract

Environment-related decisions can be taken in situ or remotely. We discuss theoretically why and how this seemingly irrelevant factor, that is, the distance between the place of decision and the place where it is applied, affects the moral judgment by external third parties. We mobilize the out-group bias and the construal level theory to predict that distant decisions will be judged more severely than close equivalent ones. Using an experimental survey, we test whether an identical decision regarding an environmental wrongdoing is judged differently when observers are informed that the decision has been taken in situ or remotely. The findings support that the distance between decision centers and application places matters. An increase in spatial distance leads to a more severe judgment of an otherwise identical decision. We draw implications for business environmental strategy and suggest the existence of a liability of distance in the moral domain.
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Dates and versions

hal-03712726 , version 1 (04-07-2022)

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Gilles Grolleau, Lisette L. Ibanez, Naoufel Mzoughi. The Effect of Distance on the Moral Judgment of Environmental Wrongdoings. Business Strategy and the Environment, In press, ⟨10.1002/bse.3201⟩. ⟨hal-03712726⟩
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