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Goal Setting as a Motivator of Unethical Behavior

Maurice E. Schweitzer, Lisa Ordóñez and Bambi Douma
The Academy of Management Journal
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Jun., 2004), pp. 422-432
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20159591
Page Count: 11
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Goal Setting as a Motivator of Unethical Behavior
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Abstract

We explored the role of goal setting in motivating unethical behavior in a laboratory experiment. We found that people with unmet goals were more likely to engage in unethical behavior than people attempting to do their best. This relationship held for goals both with and without economic incentives. We also found that the relationship between goal setting and unethical behavior was particularly strong when people fell just short of reaching their goals.

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