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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2084845
 
 

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Whatever it Takes: Rivalry and Unethical Behavior


Gavin Kilduff


University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Adam D. Galinsky


Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Edoardo Gallo


University of Oxford - Nuffield College

J. James Reade


University of Birmingham - Department of Economics

June 15, 2012

Intl. Association for Conflict Management, IACM 25th Annual Conference

Abstract:     
We investigate rivalry as a driver of unethical behavior. We first distinguish it from general competition, both conceptually and in terms of its consequences for behavior. Then, across four experiments and one archival study, we find evidence that rivalry fuels greater unethical behavior than general competition. Specifically, rivalry was associated with increased Machiavellianism, over-reporting of performance, willingness to employ unethical negotiation tactics, and unsportsmanlike behavior. Further, several of these effects carried over to subsequent situations that occurred outside of the rivalrous relationship itself, suggesting that rivalry activates a mindset that can subsequently influence unrelated decisions and behaviors. These findings highlight the importance of rivalry as a widespread, powerful, and yet largely unstudied phenomenon with significant organizational implications. Further, they help to inform when and why unethical behavior occurs within organizations, and ultimately suggest that the nature of competition is dependent upon actors’ relationships and prior interactions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 70

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Date posted: July 1, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Kilduff, Gavin and Galinsky, Adam D. and Gallo, Edoardo and Reade, J. James, Whatever it Takes: Rivalry and Unethical Behavior (June 15, 2012). Intl. Association for Conflict Management, IACM 25th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2084845 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2084845

Contact Information

Gavin Kilduff (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )
545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
Adam D. Galinsky
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
Edoardo Gallo
University of Oxford - Nuffield College ( email )
New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom
J. James Reade
University of Birmingham - Department of Economics ( email )
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom
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