Stress misconduct and reduced ability to express dissent: A study on a sample of students at the University of Siena
The safety of socio-technical systems depends on a multitude of factors, including stress levels and compliance with relevant ethical principles. A recent study has identified a relationship between stress and unethical behaviour in specific areas such as scientific research (Parlangeli et al. 2017a, b). This paper reports a study conducted on students at the University of Siena in order to examine whether a relationship between stress and ethical behaviour can be identified in student populations. The results indicate a clear relationship between stress levels and the perception of the frequency of unethical behaviours. Of particular interest are the data suggesting how stress levels can negatively impact respondents’ abilities to manifest dissent or disagreement, thus depriving people who experience high stress levels of the ability to contribute to the construction of workplaces characterised by honesty and integrity.