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Will I Fake It? The Interplay of Gender, Machiavellianism, and Self-monitoring on Strategies for Honesty in Job Interviews

Abstract

The use of deception during social interactions is a serious ethical concern for business. Interpersonal Deception Theory (IDT) proposes that strategies for using deception are influenced by personal factors. We tested this proposal by assessing participants’ strategies for using deception during an employment interview. Specifically, we examined three personal factors [gender, Machiavellianism, and self-monitoring (SM)] and intentions toward four types of deceptive behaviors (Extensive Image Creation, Image Protection, Ingratiation, and Slight Image Creation). We used path analysis to examine the intentions of 125 undergraduate students. Our results partially confirm the proposal of IDT by showing that intentions toward using Extensive Image Creation (i.e., generating wholly untrue personal information) are higher for men than women. Intentions toward Image Protection (i.e., hiding unattractive personal truths) are higher for men and for women high in Machiavellianism relative to women low in Machiavellianism. Intentions toward using deceptive Ingratiation are highest for men and high Machiavellianism women, but only when sufficient SM skills are present. For intentions toward Slight Image Creation (i.e., mild exaggerations to personal truths) there are no gender, Machiavellianism, or SM effects. Our research has implications for understanding how deception in the workplace can begin before an individual is hired, and we offer suggestions for several lines of future research.

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Correspondence to Mary Hogue.

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Hogue, M., Levashina, J. & Hang, H. Will I Fake It? The Interplay of Gender, Machiavellianism, and Self-monitoring on Strategies for Honesty in Job Interviews. J Bus Ethics 117, 399–411 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1525-x

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Keywords

  • Deception
  • Gender
  • Employment interviews
  • Employee selection
  • Faking