Work, money and academic dishonesty: what feeds tolerance to informal practices in students?

This event will take place on the 14th of March, 16.00-18.00, Council Room, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work (Schitu Măgureanu. nr.9), sector 5, Bucharest. More information is available here.

Presenters: Elena Druică and Rodica Ianole – Călin, University of Bucharest

Authors: Elena Druică, Rodica Ianole – Călin and Răzvan Mihail Papuc, University of Bucharest; Irena Munteanu, Ovidius University of Constanta

The acknowledgement of increased degrees of dishonest behavior within organizations has lately become more and more prevalent in the media. The labels range from counterproductive work behaviors (Fox et al., 2001) to workplace crimes (Vadera & Pratt, 2013), with a large variability concerning typology, determinants and impact. The common thread lies in their generic detrimental effects: losses of billions of dollars and weaker levels of organizational performance (Dunlop & Lee, 2004; Cohen, 2018). Given the compelling negative consequences of workplace dishonesty, the task of identifying appropriate predictors that can be addressed through interventions at organizational level is of a great interest both for theoreticians and practitioners.Our research looks into long-term predispositions that may determine tolerance to various informal practices. To conceptualize informality we used two types of attitudes: how one agrees with actively bending different social rules, and how one tolerates, in a passive manner, behaviors involving piracy.
The importance of our research is threefold. Firstly, we pursue to examine whether a certain preoccupation with money can mediate the tolerance towards two expressions of informality. The approach mimics the experimental framework that illustrates the effects of money priming on pro-social behaviors (Vohs et al., 2006, Gąsiorowska & Hełka, 2012, Vohs, 2015), but employs data collected through a traditional survey. Secondly, we explore the relationship between inclination towards academic dishonesty and inclination to engage into informal behavior. This is supported by previous research showing that individuals with higher tolerance to bending rules have less ethical impediment to unethical behavior, even having a higher propensity to accept and be involved in such behavior (Lavalle et al., 2008; Cho and Kirwin, 2007). The manner in which the attitude toward work relates to one’s inclination to informality is the third dimension in our research.
We used PLS – PM analysis conducted in Warp PLS and R, to estimate contemporary relationships (Joreskog and Wold 1982) among our variables, and a sample of 504 respondents, age 18 – 25 (mean 19.82, sd = 1.55), students in various university centers across the country.

This research was supported by a Marie Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange scheme within the H2020 Programme (grant acronym: SHADOW, no:778118)


Elena Druică is full professor of Statistics, Applied Econometrics and Research Methods with the University of Bucharest. She was formally trained in Mathematics, completing her PhD in Statistics, in 2003. During her PhD she studied genetic algorithms and optimization processes, developing a new classification of objective functions that converge to the optimum in polynomial time. During her second doctoral work, completed in 2006 at the Academy of Economic Studies she studied Economics with a particular focus on risk assessment.
She was leading, or has been a member of 16 research, as well as consultancy – based projects, national and international. Her publications cover a broad range of statistical and econometric techniques, both in the area of unsupervised learning (like static and temporal clustering, regression and classification trees), as well as supervised learning techniques. She is proficient in various regression techniques, from simple linear methods to advanced generalized methods. She also handles panel data and spatial modeling like geographically weighted regression, gravity models, or other spatial models.
Elena Druică is interested in structural equation modeling of various social and economic phenomena, and she handles both covariance – based models, as well as variance – based models. She was invited to teach Special Topics in Econometrics at Luneburg University, Germany and at Urbino University, Italy, as well as Structural Equation Modeling at Urbino University, Italy. Recently, she provided consultancy as a data analyst to the Romanian Authority for Quality in Public Health and to The National Bank of Romania, and she currently works with the Romanian Association of Chronic Patience to assess patients’ values, attitudes and satisfaction.
She is trained in R programming language, but she is also proficient in Eviews and WarpPLS.

Dr. Rodica Ianole-Călin is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, Romania. She holds a PhD in Behavioral Economics, a master degree in Economic Cybernetics and Quantitative Economics and a Valedictorian bachelor degree in Business Administration. Her professional training was complemented by a postdoctoral fellowship in which behavioral economics insights were combined with agent based modeling in order to explain saving behavior. She further participated at numerous international courses and
summer schools (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Russia, US), taking up more recently the role of invited lecturer for CEBEX Summer School in Behavioral Sciences in Prague (2017 and 2018), the International Summer School of the University of Coruna (2015), and different annual Erasmus teaching stages (from 2013 to 2018 – Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal).
Dr. Ianole’s teaching expertise covers Microeconomics, Data Analysis, Game Theory and Behavioral Economics, while her research interests includes the broader area of applied microeconomics for segments like consumption decisions, financial education and health care. She is currently involved in coordinating at the university level a Horizon 2020 project under the Marie Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange scheme, dealing with informality in the post-soviet countries. She also serves as an Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics, indexed in Clarivate Analytics – ESCI and published by IGI Global, US.

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