Cornell University: Links between incentives and ethical lapses identified in ILR research

How and why do incentives elicit unethical behavior?

In “Incentive Effects on Ethics,” published in the Academy of Management Annals in January, ILR Associate Professor Tae Youn Park and research colleagues tackle that question.

Park, Sanghee Park of Hongik University and Bruce Barry of Vanderbilt University examined 361 articles assessing the impact of incentives on unethical behaviors in education, health care and for-profit businesses. By identifying what drives links between incentives and unethicality, the researchers hope their work will clarify the connection and lead to more constructive use of incentives.

They recommend ethics training, sanctions for unethical actions and decisions, and the promotion of ethical leadership to prevent illicit behavior.

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