Is an ethics course in order for the Millennials?

Posted On September 25, 2014

The workplace cliché of the boss who makes the young staffers do all the work and then takes all the credit may be meeting its match.  A new study by marketing firm DDB found that 27 percent of Millennials had taken credit for someone else’s work.  And that’s just the ones who would own it.

Comparatively, 15 percent and 5 percent of Xers and Boomers, respectively, admitted to the same.  So what’s driving this seeming underhanded behavior?  And how does this reconcile with a group that we’ve called social and altruistic?

According to the survey authors, it’s the old dollar bill.  With Millennials feeling pressure to secure their jobs, they may be more willing than usual to ignore their inner Jiminy Crickets.  On the flip side, and to be fair to the Millennials, this survey didn’t have a historical reference point.  That is, we don’t have a similar statistic asking Boomers this same question when they were the same ages Millennials are now.  So is this ethics indiscretion a factor of youth or a reflection on a generation?

I think this may be one of those areas where age drives the bus. The older employees get, the more they have to lose and the more they understand the risk to their reputations vs. what is usually very little reward.  Or at least I want to believe that to be true.

Categories: Generation Y / Millennials, Work, Workplace