Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/147447
Title: LYING TO GET THE JOB: THE ANTECEDENTS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF JOB APPLICANT DECEPTION
Authors: GAN WEI LIN
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: GAN WEI LIN (2008). LYING TO GET THE JOB: THE ANTECEDENTS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF JOB APPLICANT DECEPTION. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Despite the role of honesty as a universal moral virtue and an important business principle, it is an indisputable fact that dishonest behaviour is prevalent in everyday life. In recent years, lying and other forms of deception among job applicants have become increasingly prevalent, and an increasing concern for many employers due to the potential harm and phenomenal costs such behaviours can inflict upon them. It is thus imperative that researchers and managers continue to examine closely the factors that contribute to the perpetration of lying in organizations. In this study, we examined the individual-level factors that predict lying behaviours among job applicants, by employing theoretical perspectives from trait theory (Allport, 1937; Epstein, 1979). As personality traits demonstrate internal processes that are manifested in how people think, feel and behave, we theorized that certain personality traits may predispose job applicants to behave in deceptive ways. Thus, we sought to investigate the characteristics of job applicants that are significant drivers of deceptive behaviours. In addition, we sought to examine the psychological and mental processes associated with job applicant lying behaviour. We did this by employing a theoretical framework drawing on perspectives from Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory, as well as the criminological theory of techniques of neutralization by Sykes & Matza (1957). More specifically, we argue that job applicants who engage in self-motivated and deceptive behaviour are likely to experience cognitive dissonance. We hypothesized that deceptive job applicants are motivated to reduce dissonance by engaging in one or more post-hoc rationalization strategies. By doing so, they may justify and personally pardon their deceptive behaviours, and thus avoid self-censure. Data were collected via questionnaire surveys. Subjects were undergraduate students attending a management course at the National University of Singapore. Statistical analyses were conducted to test our research hypotheses. Findings of our study contribute to current understanding of differences in individual propensity to lie, and may help managers to address the issue of applicant deception. In addition, our results provide encouraging evidence for the integration of the cognitive dissonance and neutralization frameworks in examining the psychological processes associated with job applicant lying behaviour. 5 out of 7 of all hypothesized relationships among the study variables were empirically supported. Implications of our findings were also discussed.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/147447
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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