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Watching pornography in office increases unethical behaviour. Study

ANI | Updated: Jun 25, 2019 22:13 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], June 25 (ANI): Viewing pornography at work is linked with a number of negative organizational outcomes -- like fraud and collusion of employees, according to a new study.
The study was published in the journal, ' Journal of Business Ethics.'
Melissa Lewis-Western, co-author of the study said, "Pornography is often framed as an issue affecting only individuals and relationships outside of a business context."
"But businesses are made up of people, and people make decisions, and businesses function off the decisions people make. If you have a societal phenomenon that a lot of people are participating in and it negatively impacts individuals' decisions, that has the potential to impact organizational-level outcomes," she said.
Researchers conducted the study with 200 participants and a nationally-representative survey of 1,000 other individuals. In the experiment, one group was tasked with recalling their last experience of watching pornography. The researchers chose not to expose participants directly to pornography due to ethical concerns and concerns of selection and demand effects.
Meanwhile, members of the control group were asked to recall their most recent experience exercising. Both groups were then employed to watch the entirety of a boring 10-minute video consisting of a blue background with a monotone voice speaking with subtitles.
The experiment concluded with 21 per cent of those who had recalled their last experience viewing porn did not finish viewing the video but lied about it. Only 8 per cent of those in the control group did not finish the video and lied about it.
This represented a statistically significant 163 per cent increase in shirking work and lying for those who view pornography. Similar evidence was obtained from the survey. The experiment also found that the rise in unethical behaviour is caused by an increased propensity to dehumanize others; pornography consumption increases the viewer's propensity to view others as objects or less than human.
Researchers believe porn consumption causes dehumanization, the incidence of sexual harassment or hostile work environments is likely to increase with increases in employee pornography consumption.
The study suggests that the companies should take stern steps to reduce pornography consumption at the office which includes:
Preventative controls such as internet filters and blocking devices Policies that prohibit porn consumption at work, with penalties and hiring employees who are less likely to view pornography than others.
"Almost everyone cares about the #MeToo movement and women, but if you care about that, then you have to care about this issue too," Lewis-Western said. "If your manager is regularly watching pornography at work, then our research suggests that the way you are treated is going to be different in negative ways."(ANI)