Work-report formats and overbilling: How unit-reporting vs. cost-reporting increases accountability and decreases overbilling

Sreedhari D. Desai*, Maryam Kouchaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current paper examines how asking for a report of units of work completed versus cost of the same work can influence overbilling. We suggest that something as simple as asking for a report of units of work completed (for instance, reporting either the time spent or number of units of work completed) as opposed to the cost of the work completed can drive different unethical behaviors. We argue that unit-reporting makes providers feel accountable for their actions, and this induced accountability, in turn, impacts actual billing behaviors. We present seven studies, including a field experiment in the auto-repair industry that demonstrate the effect of different work-report formats on overbilling and provide evidence for our proposed underlying mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume130
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Decision frames
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Money
  • Overbilling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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