Today’s post is a thought bubble on honesty and cheating in the workplace following two articles I read recently. The first is an interesting report on how people are more likely to cheat if the benefits of that cheating are shared with another person, even with an anonymous stranger. The likelihood of behaving dishonestly doubled (21% to 43%) when participants could point to another’s benefit from their own unethical behavior.
The report was based on experiments involving word games and other online activities in which the researchers left opportunities for participants to over-report their performance. Splitting the benefits of cheating was considered less unethical by participants than taking the benefits all for themselves.