If You’re Loyal to a Group, Does It Compromise Your Ethics?

If You’re Loyal to a Group, Does It Compromise Your Ethics?

By Fouad Bendris

Most of us feel loyalty, whether to our clan, our comrades, an organization, or a cause. These loyalties are often important aspects of our social identity. Once a necessity for survival and propagation of the species, loyalty to one’s in-group is deeply rooted in human evolution.

But the incidents of wrongdoing that capture the headlines make it seem like loyalty is all too often a bad thing, corrupting many aspects of our personal and professional lives. My recent research, conducted in collaboration with Angus Hildreth of the University of California, Berkeley and Max Bazerman of Harvard Business School, suggests that this concern about loyalty is largely misplaced. In fact, we found loyalty to a group can increase, rather than decrease, honest behavior.

Fouad Bendris’s insight:
Once again, loyalty made people act more ethically. In fact, the brothers who reported being more loyal to their fraternity cheated less than brothers who reported being less loyal. Loyalty seemed to translate into a more general desire to behave ethically !

Source:: Strategy & Governance

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