Lying to bosses, subordinates, peers, and the outside world: motivations and consequences

Steven L. Grover*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In Thomas Hardy’s (1927) novel Far from the Madding Crowd, an army officer named Troy shows off his swordsmanship to a young lady named Bathsheba by removing a caterpillar from her dress with his saber. The following conversation ensues:

Lying is perhaps one of the most common insidious behaviors, and this example illustrates many of the issues surrounding lying. Troy lies to the young lady in a way that he portrays as being in her own interest so that she doesn’t get “pared alive two hundred and ninety five times.” However, telling this lie may have longer term consequences for his reputation and her trust in him, even though he has used the tactic of lying to smooth out a momentary situation in an expedient manner. Like Troy, many of us experience the need if not to lie then to alter how honest we are on a daily basis. Nearly everyone has told the occasional lie or discovered at other times that they have been victims of lies. Nevertheless, the term lying carries negative

connotations, and when challenged to think of when they have lied, many people are put off by the term. In keeping with the theme of this volume, this chapter examines small everyday lies, what they are, and why they occur.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInsidious workplace behavior
EditorsJerald Greenberg
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780203849439
ISBN (Print)9781848728585, 9781848728592
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSeries in applied psychology


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