Somertimes it’s helpful for empirical research to prove what seems obvious. After all, sometimes things we take for granted turn out to be incorrect so there also is a place for showing that common sense is on the money when that, in fact, turns out to be the case.
This recent study provides evidence that we are not as ethical as individuals as we like to claim. Why make a fuss over something that seems so obvious? For starters, I think a lot of folks don’t actually find that all that obvious. In addition, though, these findings help underscore the need to train employees – at all levels of organizations – in easy and effective methods of self-monitoring for ethics risk. If one simply asks, “Am I adequately ethical?”, the answer will almost always be affirmative. However, if you know to how look for signs that you are approaching the ‘slippery slope’, you will have much more useful information about the urgency and style of your need to change your behavior so as to not step over the boundaries of appropriate behavior.