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The reduction of employee lying behaviour: Inspiration from a study of envy in part-time employees

Jérémy Celse (Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France)
Kirk Chang (Salford Business School, University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Sylvain Max (Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France)
Sarah Quinton (Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 16 May 2016




The purpose of this paper is to analyse employees’ lying behaviour and its findings have important implication for the management and prevention strategies of lying in the workplace. Employee lying has caused both reputational and financial damage to employers, organisations and public authorities. This study adopts a psycho-cognitive perspective to examine the mechanism of lying reduction and the influence envy has on lying behaviour.


Incorporating social comparison phenomenon and cognate studies this study suggests that envy may restrain people from lying in the workplace. Specific hypotheses are developed and tested with 271 participants using dice game scenarios.


Research findings have found that people are likely to lie if lying brings them benefits. However, the findings also reveal that the envy aroused between two people may act as a psychological barrier to reduce the tendency to lie.


The research findings have provided an alternative perspective to the current prevailing view of envy as a negative emotion. Envy need not always be negative. Envy can provide an internal drive for people to work harder and enhance themselves but it can also act as a brake mechanism and self-regulator to reduce lying, and thereby has a potentially positive value.



Celse, J., Chang, K., Max, S. and Quinton, S. (2016), "The reduction of employee lying behaviour: Inspiration from a study of envy in part-time employees", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 118-137.



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