Study links extramarital affairs with professional misconduct
New York - People who cheat on their spouses are significantly more likely to engage in misconduct in the workplace, a study said.
According to the findings published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers from the US looked at the records of police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals and senior executives who used the Ashley Madison marital infidelity website.
Operating under the slogan, "Life is short. Have an affair," Ashley Madison advertises itself as a dating service for married people to have "discreet encounters".
"This is the first study that's been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct, and we find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct," said researcher Samuel Kruger from the University of Texas.
The study found that Ashley Madison users, studied in professional settings, were more than twice as likely to engage in corporate misconduct.
The researchers investigated four study groups totalling 11,235 individuals using data on police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals, CEOs and CFOs.
Even after matching misconduct professionals to misconduct-free individuals with similar ages, genders and experiences and controlling for a wide range of executive and cultural variables, the researchers found that people with histories of misconduct were significantly more likely to use the Ashley Madison website.
Their findings suggest a strong connection between people's actions in their personal and professional lives and provide support to the idea that eliminating work place sexual misconduct may also reduce fraudulent activity.
"Our results show that personal sexual conduct is correlated with professional conduct.
"Eliminating sexual misconduct in the work place could have the extra benefit of contributing to more ethical corporate cultures in general," Kruger said.