CHAPTER 6

Lies, Damned Lies? Ethics in Business Statistics

Fabiola H. Gerpott and Sven C. Voelpel

Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany

Introduction

Managers and employees regularly have to understand and apply statistics in their daily work life. To illustrate, they create reports, analyze their own and other department’s performance, base decisions on data, or convince customers of their company’s effectiveness by presenting figures. Yet, working with business statistics is particularly prone to ethical challenges. In the business world, high performance expectations put a lot of pressure on managers and employees and may even promote unethical behavior if individuals feel they cannot reach their goals.1 In such a situation, faking statistics ...

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