Can wages buy honesty?


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Ever wondered why some people will tell you that they have not been paid for a month, two, three, four, five or six months, but still continue to go to work? They are probably getting something out of it.

A new study entitled: Can wages buy honesty? The relationship between relative wages and employee theft by Clara Xiaoling Chen and Tatiana Sandino says people that are paid higher wages tend to be more loyal to their employers while those that are paid lower wages make up by stealing from their employers.

The study says that according to the National Retail Security Survey of 2008.investory-related theft in the United States amounted to $15.9 billion in the retail industry alone.

It says that employees receiving relatively higher wages are less inclined to steal as they reciprocate positively to their employers to retain their high paying jobs.

Employees earning relatively lower wages are more inclined to steal due to a desire to retaliate against their employers for treating them badly.

Firms that offer relatively higher wages are likely to attract a higher proportion of honest workers.

The study said also says that workers who earn relatively higher wages are more likely to monitor each other and reduce theft while those earning lower wages are more likely to collude against their employer and increase theft.

Wages also have an impact on productivity. If employees feel that management is supportive, they tend to be productive. If, on the other hand, they feel management is antagonistic, this affects their performance.

What do you think?

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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