Why are some companies successful in business and others not? If there are as many opportunities as there are leaves on the trees, why are there companies with good products and services that do not have good indicators? In an environment where “the smart live by the dumb” in business, what motivates a company to be honest and not fall victim to the pressures of the environment? Alexander F. Wagner, interviewed by Dick Carozza (CFE) answers these and other questions in ACFE’s Fraud Magazine.
People are motivated in their environments by “protected values” such as life, love and honor
The “protected values”, describes Alexander F. Wagner, are those that people are willing to defend paying the price that has to be paid, such as honesty, life, love, honor, among others. People who defend these values would be willing to face any consequence in order to defend them.
What it feels like to make money
It has been discovered, according to the studies of Alexander F. Wagner, that people increasingly care about how they earn money, defining it as honest or dishonest, not only the amount that is being earned. Movies like Wall Street Wolf and Boiler Room arouse the emotions of making money dishonestly and easily, and the danger of these messages is that people with poor training in ethics and values are very attracted to replicate those behaviors in their lives and businesses.
Considering the 10-80-10 rule of propensity for fraud, where 80% of the population is impressionable and prone to committing dishonest actions, one might think that a poor reinforcement in education on ethics and values, added to the emotions that it presents Hollywood of making easy money dishonestly could represent a person in business being attracted to making money dishonestly on purpose.
Consider an average person, who on his first day of interview receives this message “You will make your first million dollars in 3 years, working here, you just have to sell at all costs” and the interviewer ends up showing him the keys to his Ferrari 355, that he managed to earn at 25 years of age as a result of his work in the company.
It is very difficult to think that an average person is going to resist such a good opportunity, rather, this person will learn what his interviewer did and replicate his behavior to get his first million dollars, a Ferrari, and why not, a house in Miami.
How are these influences explained?
According to Alexander F. Wagner, it is the “protected values” that lead people to be honest in business, normally people who go down the path of easy money and dishonest do not have solid foundations of what love represents for life, respect and honor.
(Fraud Magazine, 2019) What really motivates people to be honest in business?
NOFRAUD is the company that develops The Fraud Explorer anti-fraud software and supports individuals and companies to face and solve their challenges regarding internal fraud, corruption and corporate abuse. NOFRAUD has created the largest behavioral database of dishonest acts in the world in Spanish and English, which is used by artificial intelligence to find suspicious patterns of corruption within organizations.