Trust Promotes Unethical Behavior

Jeremy A. Yip
University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

Maurice E. Schweitzer
University of Pennsylvania – Operations & Information Management Department

June 4, 2015


Trust is critical for our cooperation and effective working relationships, but trust also enables exploitation and unethical behavior. Prior trust research has disproportionately focused on the benefits of trust, even though some of the most egregious unethical behaviors occur because of misplaced trust. Targets of exploitation often overweight the wrong trust cues and are exploited by people who either opportunistically or strategically take advantage of trusting targets. We call for future work to explore the critical link between trust and unethical behavior.

Trust Promotes Unethical Behavior

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