Adulterers are twice as likely to also be involved in misdeeds in the workplace, according to new research from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Causing trouble at home and at work? Some people just can’t stop themselves.
To prove this, researchers looked at the data of police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals, and senior executives who used the cheat-on-your-spouse website Ashley Madison. (The site was hacked in 2015).
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The researchers found that Ashley Madison users in the professional workplace settings they examined were more than twice as likely as to engage in “corporate misconduct.”
“This is the first study that’s been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct,” McCombs finance faculty member Samuel Kruger said. “We find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct.”
The researchers investigated four study groups totaling 11,235 individuals. They found that people with histories of misconduct were significantly more likely to use the Ashley Madison website.
When it comes down to it, infidelity is not a good marker of a good employee, this study concluded. As well, the data suggests that bad behavior in peoples’ personal lives tends to bleed into their work lives.
“Our results show that personal sexual conduct is correlated with professional conduct,” Kruger said. “Eliminating sexual misconduct in the workplace could have the extra benefit of contributing to more ethical corporate cultures in general.”