Disclosing interpersonal conflicts of interest: revealing whom we like, but not whom we dislike

Effron, D and Raj, M (2021) Disclosing interpersonal conflicts of interest: revealing whom we like, but not whom we dislike. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 164. pp. 68-85. ISSN 0749-5978

DOI: /10.1016/j.obhdp.2021.01.005

Abstract

Imagine your boss asks you to evaluate the work performance of a coworker whom you happen to like or dislike for reasons unrelated to the performance. This situation poses an interpersonal conflict of interest because the fact that you like or dislike the coworker could undermine your professional obligation to offer an objective evaluation. We hypothesize that people are less likely to disclose conflicts of interest that involve disliking as opposed to liking, because they worry that disclosing dislike will make them look unsociable. Nine studies (four pre-registered) – examining hypothetical, actual, and lab-simulated workplace conflicts of interest – provide supportive evidence, and cast doubt on alternative explanations based on the motivations to maintain objectivity or to get away with bias. The findings demonstrate the importance of considering interpersonal dynamics in theorizing about advice-giving and conflicts of interest. We discuss implications for detecting conflicts of interest in organizations.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
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© 2021 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence

Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 11:27
Date of first compliant deposit: 26 Jan 2021
Subjects: C > Conflict
O > Organisational behaviour
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2021 12:26
URI: https://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/1660
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