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The purpose of research developed in the chosen article is to identify possible personal and situational variables that may affect employee theft in a certain work setting and explain their relation to unethical behavior that may be characterized by conceptual and empirical bases.
Five different hypotheses are offered in the study to clarify the reasons and peculiar features of employee theft. The author uses a survey and relies on the results obtained from an experimental setting and a questionnaire based on several open-ended questions. 270 customers from different customer service companies that offer financial help to people are invited. 142 participants are the employees of the companies with special ethics programs, and 128 participants are the employees of the companies where no ethics programs are offered. A 2x2x2 factorial design was developed to investigate the relationships between the chosen independent variables which were moral development, a victim of theft, and an ethics program.
The findings of the study are based on the past achievements made by the same author, Greenberg, during the last several years and such researchers as Trevino and Murphy. However, their works were not the only sources of information. New interesting facts were observed during the survey developed in the study. It was proved that moral development, as the main personal independent variable, and corporate ethics programs, as the main situational variable, played an important role in understanding the nature of employee theft in different organizations.
One of the possible limitations of the project is its sampling. There were only 270 employees involved in the survey. The author did not specify the companies, their locations, and ages so that it is hard to comprehend the nature of the deviant behavior of its employees. Therefore, it is possible to guess that the conclusions and findings based on limited sampling without detailed information may be biased and incomplete.
Practical and social implications
This study helps to identify new factors of employee theft and explain the conditions under which people are ready to steal from the companies where they work. There are personal and situational issues that cannot be neglected. Therefore, this article is a good source for future researchers of organizational crimes that are based on stealing and the causes that make people steal.
The problem of employee theft is not new. It has been discussed in many social and ethical investigations. Still, interest in organizational crimes continues rising. Therefore, the value of the project under analysis is high indeed because it helps to discover new aspects of employee theft and cover the gap that exists in the combined effects of possible personal and situational variables.
The article turns out to be a successful continuation of Greenberg’s investigations of employee theft and other ethical issues that could be developed in organizations. The process of stealing has its beginning and its end, and this article explains the conditions under which people are moved to steal. It helps to understand that not only personal reasons but certain situations can lead to employee theft.
The study is based on a questionnaire with several open-ended questions. Such an approach is effective in many cases. Still, its main disadvantage is the presence of subjective data. Therefore, it is better to use mixed methods to prove the value of the chosen hypotheses and offer effective recommendations for companies where employee theft occurs.