Are people really more desperate, or simply less ashamed?

31 May 2012
'Desperate times call for desperate measures' appears to be a proverb that many are taking to heart recently. SM reported only yesterday that 15 per cent of CFOs think a bribe is acceptable to win business. And according to a study conducted by RSA, 53 per cent of UK workers admit to exaggerating an expense claim by including personal items. The most frequent falsifications were for extra mileage and meals. Women were worse offenders, expensing £2,000 of personal items on average, compared to £1,531 for the average man. “This research demonstrates the frightening ease with which employees are able to sneak personal items through the business expense claims process,” said Jon Hancock, managing director, commercial at RSA. The commentary around recent research into fraud has cited the recession as the prime motivation. But I wonder whether it is simply that people are becoming more brazen and less shameful. The RSA poll found a third falsified claims, because "everyone does it" and a quarter because "it is easy to get away with".
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