Can Anticipating Time Pressure Reduce the Likelihood of Unethical Behaviour Occurring?
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Time pressure has been shown to have a negative impact on ethical decision-making. This paper uses an experimental approach to examine the impact of an antecedent of time pressure, whether it is anticipated or not, on participants’ perceptions of unethical behaviour. Utilising 60 business school students at an Australian university, we examine the differential impact of anticipated and unanticipated time deadline pressure on participants’ perceptions of the likelihood of unethical behaviour (i.e. plagiarism) occurring. We find the perception of the likelihood of unethical behaviour occurring to be significantly reduced when time pressure is anticipated rather than unanticipated. The implications of this finding for both professional service organisations and tertiary institutions are considered.
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