Honesty of Online Workers: A Field Experiment shows no Evidence of Self-Selection of Cheaters to a Cheating-enabling Work Environment
Marek Albert Vranka,
Markéta Sýkorová and
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Marek Albert Vranka: University of Economics
Štěpán Bahník: University of Economics, Prague
Petr Houdek: University of Economics in Prague
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Does the choice of an environment where cheating is possible lead to its escalation? We analyzed behavior of employees (N = 284) hired to perform a task online. In the manual reporting (MR), employees could overreport the number of hours worked. In the automatic reporting (AR), the hours were counted automatically, making cheating impossible. Two-thirds of the participants were given a chance to choose the reporting scheme, the rest were assigned to the MR directly. Although we found that people in MR slightly overreported the hours worked, employees who chose MR did not overreport their hours more than those assigned to MR at random. Moreover, participants lower in honesty-humility were not more likely to choose MR; only those higher in emotionality were. The results show that even when enabled to cheat, online workers reported their hours worked honestly and the possibility for cheaters to select cheating enabling environments may not always lead to an increase of dishonesty in organizations.
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Journal Article: Honesty of online workers: A field experiment shows no evidence of self-selection of cheaters to a cheating-enabling work environment (2021)
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