Propensity to engage in unethical behavior

The Scale

From the Luna Arocas & Tang (2004, JBE):

Instructions: There are many hypothetical vignettes (scenarios) for activities at work. Some vignettes may not be applicable to your situation. If you were in that situation, what is the probability that you will take action as suggested in the vignette? Please use the 5-point scale.

Scale:

  1. Very low probability
  2. Low
  3. Average
  4. High
  5. Very high probability

Working on the job, I …

  1. Use office supplies (paper, pen), Xerox machine, and stamps for personal purposes.
  2. Make personal long-distance (mobile phone) calls at work.
  3. Waste company time surfing on the Internet, playing computer games, and socializing.
  4. Abuse the company expense accounts and falsify accounting records.
  5. Fly first class and spend a lot of company money on a business trip.
  6. Borrow $20 from a cash register overnight without asking.
  7. Take merchandise and/or cash home.
  8. Give merchandise away to personal friends (no charge to the customers).
  9. Overcharge customers to increase sales and to earn higher bonus.
  10. Trick people to buy new or additional services.
  11. Advise customers for unnecessary repairs and services.
  12. Give customers “discounts” first and then charge them more money later (bait & switch).
  13. Make more money by deliberately not letting clients know about their benefits.
  14. Use low quality inputs in producing products and services and keep profits high.
  15. Reduce quantity of materials in selling the same brand name product (14 oz. in a 16 oz. can).
  16. Use creative accounting to hide the company's true financial status and increase personal gain.
  17. Manipulate stock prices to earn big personal bonus.
  18. Give misleading information to investors for short-term personal profits.
  19. Give large contracts/projects to personal friends and relatives.
  20. Bribe government officials in a foreign country to win big contracts and personal bonus.
  21. Receive gifts, money, and loans (bribery) from others due to one's position and power.
  22. Lay off 500 employees to save the company money and increase one's personal bonus.
  23. Use employees' pension for personal (self-interest) purposes.
  24. Decline reasonable claims to avoid company's expenses.
  25. Delay payment to make the most use of the organization's money.
  26. Pressure suppliers to reduce prices.
  27. Reveal company secrets (proprietary information) for several million dollars.
  28. Offer low prices to customers and force small businesses in the downtown area to close.
  29. Offer “no” severance payments to laid off employees (not required by law in the U.S.).
  30. Take no action for shoplifting by customers.
  31. Take no action for employees who steal cash/merchandise.
  32. Take no action for the fraudulent charges by one's company.

From the Piff etal 2012 PNAS supplemental, experiment 7:

To assess individual propensities to engage in unethical behavior (6), participants were instructed to indicate how likely they would be to engage in each of the listed behaviors on a scale ranging from 1 (very unlikely) to 7 (very likely).

These behaviors were:

  1. Use office supplies, Xerox machine, and stamps for personal purposes.
  2. Make personal long-distance phone calls at work.
  3. Waste company time surfing on the internet, playing computer games, and socializing.
  4. Borrow $20 from a cash register overnight without asking.
  5. Take merchandise and/or cash home.
  6. Give merchandise away for free to personal friends.
  7. Abuse the company expense accounts and falsify accounting records.
  8. Receive gifts, money, and loans (bribery) from others due to one’s position and power.
  9. Lay off 500 employees to save the company money and increase one’s personal bonus.
  10. Overcharge customers to increase sales and earn a higher bonus.
  11. Give customers “discounts” first and then secretively charge them more money later (bait and switch).
  12. Make more money by deliberately not letting clients know about their benefits.
propensity_to_engage_in_unethical_behavior.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/28 00:13 by filination
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