How do an individual’s social network, self-monitoring and future orientation relate to ethical decision-making?

Luciane Kato Kiwara, editorial assistant, BAR – Brazilian Administration Review, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

This article “Ethical decision-making: the role of self-monitoring, future orientation, and social networks” from authors Ana Carla Bon, Roger James Volkema and Jorge Ferreira da Silva (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro – IAG) was published in BAR – Brazilian Administration Review, volume 14 number 1. This study examines the influence of individual factors on social networking, and their relationship to unethical decision-making. The findings provided evidences that individual factors, especially self-monitoring but also future orientation, increase the risk of unethical decision-making.

Moreover, an individual in lower network centrality (more closed networks) was positively related to unethical intention.  However, the low self-monitors ethical females also had a very low centrality. Therefore, social network structure is not associated with unethical intentions per se.

This study includes two personality measures: selfmonitoring (GANGESTAD; SNYDER, 2000; SNYDER, 1987) – one’s ability to perceive social cues and adapt behaviors to impress others – and temporal perspective (ZIMBARDO; BOYD, 1999).

To collect survey, a web-based data collection tool was employed, consisting of multiple questionnaires focused on social network (ego-network data collection), self-monitoring and future time perspective (based on instrument available in the literature and Cronbach Alpha in line with other studies), and ethical intentions (based on scenarios of different moral intensity which were adapted from previous research). The participants in this study consisted of 129 professionals, many of them executives. The sample was based on convenience, with requests sent to business people from different organizations in one of the author’s networks, and with snowball requesting to forward to other colleagues in their work network. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to analyze the proposed model.

This research helped to clarify a contradiction in social network research and ethics, as the findings to date have been inconclusive about which network structure increase the risk of unethical decision-making. Furthermore, while adding to our understanding of the role of self-monitors in the ethical decision-making process (including interaction with gender and temporal orientation) this study also introduced the potential benefits of the low self-monitors personality.

We hope you will enjoy this reading.


GANGESTAD, S. W.; SNYDER, M. Self-monitoring: appraisal and reappraisal. Psychological Bulletin, v. 126, n. 4, p. 530-555, 2000.

SNYDER, M. Public appearances, private realities: the psychology of self-monitoring. New York: Freeman, 1987.

ZIMBARDO, P. G.; BOYD, J. N. Putting time into perspective: a valid, reliable individual differences metric. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 77, n. 6, p. 1271-1288, 1999.

To read this article, access

BON, A. C., VOLKEMA, R. J. and SILVA, J. F. Ethical Decision-Making: The Role of Self-Monitoring, Future Orientation, and Social Networks. BAR, Braz. Adm. Rev. [online]. 2017, vol.14, n.1, e160091. [viewed 31 May 2017]. ISSN 1807-7692. DOI: 10.1590/1807-7692bar2017160091. Available from:

External link

Brazilian Administration Review – BAR:


How to cite this post [ISO 690/2010]:

KIWARA, L. K. How do an individual’s social network, self-monitoring and future orientation relate to ethical decision-making? [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2017 [viewed ]. Available from:


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