The Organizational Climate of Honesty
JOHN W. JONES AND WILLIAM TERRIS
The London House Personnel Selection Inventory (PSI) (London House, 1980a, 1980b) reliably identifies job applicants who, if hired, will engage in on-the-job theft, violence, and drug abuse. The PSI contains test items that measure job applicants' attitudes, values, perceptions, and opinions toward theft (Honesty scale), violence, (Non-violence scale), and drugs (Drug Avoidance scale). The validity of the PSI has been established (cf. McDaniel & Jones, 1988).
The three PSI subscales measure psychological traits that characterize counterproductive and deviant employees. The hiring of more honest employees should logically lead to better organizational climates of honesty. Organizational climate refers to the "personality" or "psychological character" of a work environment ( Dubrin, 1974). The organizational climate helps to shape employees' attitudes about the company, and it influences their behavior ( Forehand & Gilmer, 1964).
Researchers have studied organizational climates of honesty (i.e., theft proneness) in various retail settings (cf. Cherrington & Cherrington, 1981; Jones & Terris, 1982b; Terris & Jones, 1982) using valid and reliable integrity tests that measure attitudes and cognitions toward theft. They found that employees with tolerant attitudes toward theft typically worked in stores with higher levels of shortages, internal theft, and turnover, and employees with intolerant attitudes toward theft usually worked for stores with lower levels of inventory shortages and internal theft.