We introduce the concept of cultural beliefs about questionable conduct, and examine how these beliefs interact with stigma consciousness to influence punishment and two withdrawal behaviors: turnover and absenteeism. We used a sample of Mexican police officers in a border city and implemented a mixed method design, paying attention to the national, occupational, and organizational context of this setting. We conducted a qualitative phase to explore the prevalence and meaning of occupational stigma and four cultural beliefs about questionable conduct: greed, toughness, wariness, and savvy. The results of this phase helped us develop a context-relevant measure of cultural beliefs about questionable conduct using Mexican proverbs. The results of the quantitative phase indicated that, contingent upon stigma consciousness, beliefs about questionable conduct affected received punishment, turnover, and absenteeism. We discuss the theoretical and behavioral implications of our findings for socialization, identity management, occupational stigma, corruption, and ethical behavior.
Gonzalez, J. A., & Pérez-Floriano, L. R. (2015). If You Can’t Take the Heat: Cultural Beliefs about Questionable Conduct, Stigma, Punishment, and Withdrawal among Mexican Police Officers. Organization Studies, 36(5), 665–687. https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840615571961
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