Misconduct | Serial cheaters more likely to break workplace rules

Serial cheaters more likely to break workplace rules

People who are unfaithful to their partners may all have one thing in common, as new research has found that infidelity and professional misconduct are closely linked.

Researchers from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas, Austin looked at the records of police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals and senior execs who used the Ashley Madison marital infidelity website.

Back in August 2015 the website hit headlines after users’ details were hacked, exposing the names of around 39million customers, the Independent reported.

The study titled Personal Infidelity and Professional Conduct in 4 Settings discovered that the website’s users in the professional settings they studied were more than twice as likely to engage in corporate misconduct.

Researchers investigated four study groups totalling 11,235 participants whose misconduct ranged from disciplinary issues to criminal activity.

Using the data, the team of researchers looked at whether individuals had previously taken part in a transaction with the website and whether they were a page user of it.

After matching professionals who had engaged in misconduct to those who hadn’t with similar ages, genders and experiences, they found that people with histories of misconduct were more likely to use the Ashley Madison website.

"This is the first study that's been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct," said Samuel Kruger, one of the study’s authors and Assistant Professor of Finance at McCombs.

"We find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct.”

Meanwhile, the data discovered suggests that there is a strong connection between people’s actions in their personal and professional lives and indicates that reducing workplace sexual misconduct may also reduce fraudulent activity.  

Kruger added: “Our results show that personal sexual conduct is correlated with professional conduct. Eliminating sexual misconduct in the workplace could have the extra benefit of contributing to more ethical corporate cultures in general."

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