Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (2):409-440 (2000)

Diana Robertson
University of Pennsylvania
This study tests the usefulness of a person-situation interactionist framework in examining the willingness of a salesperson to lie to get an order. Using a survey of 389 salespersons, our results demonstrate that organizational relationships influence willingness to lie. Specifically, salespersons are less willing to lie to their own company than to their customer, than to a channel partner, and finally,than to a competitor firm. Furthermore, respondents from firms with a clear and positive ethical climate are less willing to lie. Finally, our study finds that interactions between personality factors, such as high Machiavellianism and high self-monitoring, and situational factors have an impact on willingness to lie. Our results suggest that firms can take steps to influence employee ethical behavior.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Business and Professional Ethics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.2307/3857884
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