New Technologies to Detect and Mitigate Unethical Conduct

Samuel Skowronek and Maurice Schweitzer, Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Abstract: Activities such as employee theft, dishonest reporting, and fraudulent bookkeeping impede innovation and disrupt the cultural and practical goals of organizations. Executives invest heavily to identify and implement ways to mitigate this type of conduct, yet their efforts are often limited by an incomplete understanding of the unethical employee. At present, they are guided by scholarship that uses paradigms that do not map well onto tasks assigned to employees performing office work. In this project, we plan to develop novel techniques to detect unethical behavior that better approximate the employee experience. We plan to use these new paradigms to advance our understanding of the prevalence, antecedents, and consequences of deception in the workplace. We expect this research to produce actionable guidance for organizations so that they can better identify corrupt practices that undermine the innovation process and promote manager accountability and oversight.