Leadership

Ann Tenbrunsel: We're Not As Ethical As We Think We Are

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Executive Summary

This original study (Woodzicka and LaFrance) conducted in 2001, in which participants were faced with this imagined scenario, revealed that 68 percent predicted that they would refuse to answer such questions; 62 percent predicted that they would ask the interviewer why he was asking or tell him it was inappropriate; and 28 percent predicted that they would take more drastic measures like getting up and leaving or rudely confronting the interviewer. This lack of ethical deliberation that occurs in ethical fading also can explain how an otherwise ethical and upstanding person can unwittingly engage in behaviors that they would ordinarily condemn.

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