Purpose: This study aims to examine how supervisor bottom-line mentality (BLM) influences subordinate unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB), considering the mediating role of subordinate moral disengagement and the moderating role of their power-distance orientation. Design/methodology/approach: The theoretical model was tested using two-wave data collected from employees of five firms in southern China. Findings: Subordinate moral disengagement was found to mediate the positive relationship between supervisor BLM and subordinate UPB. Furthermore, for subordinates with high power-distance orientation, the positive relationship between supervisor BLM and subordinate moral disengagement and the indirect positive relationship between supervisor BLM and subordinate UPB were both strengthened. Practical implications: First, organizations should train their employees to pursue goals ethically based on established standards and policies for acceptable behavior and to punish UPB. Second, organizations should strengthen employees' ethics and reduce their likelihood of moral disengagement. Finally, organizations should create an environment that allows subordinates to question their supervisors’ BLM. Originality/value: First, the results demonstrate that supervisor BLM is an antecedent of subordinate UPB. Second, the study sheds important new light on how employees respond to supervisor BLM through cognitive processes. Third, it examines the moderating role of subordinate power-distance orientation between supervisor BLM, moral disengagement and UPB.