Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US workers are 'giving away the store,' costing firms billions, study finds

Date:
February 9, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Nearly 70 percent of the nation's service employees give away free goods and services – from hamburgers to cable TV – costing companies billions of dollars a year, according to a groundbreaking study.

Nearly 70 percent of the nation's service employees give away free goods and services -- from hamburgers to cable TV -- costing companies billions of dollars a year, according to a groundbreaking study.

Clay Voorhees, study co-author and marketing expert at Michigan State University, said one of the best ways to combat this illegal practice -- called "sweethearting" -- is through better screening of job candidates.

"Our results show that by adding a few screening questions that focus on the potential employee's risk-taking, ethics and need for social acceptance, employers could identify 'bad apples' up front and simply avoid hiring them," Voorhees said. "In the long run, this approach would address the issue."

In the short term, Voorhees said, education and training are needed about the ramifications of sweethearting and how it damages a firm. "Simply reminding individuals of their ethical obligations can greatly reduce deviant behavior," he said.

The study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Marketing, is the first to look at sweethearting specifically. Voorhees, assistant professor of marketing, co-authored the study with Michael Brady and Michael Brusco of Florida State University.

In the United States, employee theft costs firms about $200 billion a year -- 40 percent of which stems from sweethearting, according to previous research.

Voorhees and colleagues surveyed nearly 800 service employees and customers in restaurants, hotels, car washes, cable television installation and repair companies, tanning salons and other retailers and service providers.

Some 67 percent of respondents said they had participated in sweethearting in the past two months. Many employees surveyed said they were motivated by the prospect of receiving better tips and similar sweetheart deals at the customer's place of business ("tit-for-tat").

"I was surprised by how pervasive this behavior was across a wide range of service industries," Voorhees said. "I fully expected to see this behavior in bars and restaurants, but I was surprised at how prevalent it was in industries like retail, sports and recreation, and even with insurance claims."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "US workers are 'giving away the store,' costing firms billions, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209144011.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, February 9). US workers are 'giving away the store,' costing firms billions, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209144011.htm
Michigan State University. "US workers are 'giving away the store,' costing firms billions, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209144011.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins