Unnoticed Unethical Behavior in Decision Making when Gradually Escalated

Atsuo Murata, Tomoya Morinaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We paid attention to unethical behavior, in particular, the (intentional) violation of rules motivated by the economic incentive or the pursuit of efficiency. When we face a situation under which we must weigh the ethics of safety rule and the efficiency (economic aspect) in the balance, it is difficult for us to recognize the unethical behavior when it was corroded gradually than when it was corroded abruptly. More concretely, it was explored how the probability of dishonesty (cheating) being revealed and the amount of punishment affected the dishonesty (cheating) behavior under the conflict of interest. We found that the participants were less likely to criticize the actions of others, and tended to approve the estimate, and receive the reward (4% or 10% of the estimate)) when their behavior eroded gradually over time than when their behavior changed abruptly. We could identify the combined effect of both large amount of punishment and high probability of being revealed, and found that the combined effect contributed to the decrease of percentage approval (unethical behavior).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3906-3910
Number of pages5
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Abrupt erosion
  • Decision making
  • Gradual erosion of regulations
  • Percentage approval
  • Safety management
  • Unethical behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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