Why Are Rules Meant to Be Broken

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They then looked at the impact of complexity on sanitation. The first thing they found was that a rule that had been broken before was more likely to be broken again. If the rules are meant to organize our lives, to make things uniform and easier to control, why are we breaking them? Research offers a variety of reasons. There is a popular saying, “Rules are meant to be broken.” But. What for? But often, this is not the case. We are breaking the same rules that were created for the betterment of society. The same rules that are created for our safety and well-being. We do not wear seat belts while driving. We spit and throw garbage in public places. We pollute public assets and avoid queues. We eat and use phones in places we shouldn`t – the list of rules we break on a daily basis is endless. Legal regulations are in place to protect shareholders, employees and consumers from risks.

Many of companies` most notorious accidents and failures are due to non-compliance with these rules. Consider the examples of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Wells Fargo account scandal, and even Chipotle`s foodborne illness outbreaks. Each of these cases had its origin in some kind of violation of the rules. For starters, people break the rules because it`s rewarding in two ways. The euphoria of a con artist comes first. Often, scammers and offenders do not feel guilty and full of remorse. Researchers from the University of Washington, Harvard University and other institutions have found that offenders feel smarter and more capable, and are surprisingly cheerful after breaking a rule. The second reward, they found, was that offenders feel a sense of freedom when breaking a rule. “In this freer mindset, we can make random, distant associations that aren`t obvious when we`re subject to rules,” Jena Pincott told Psychology Today.

Different people and cultures have something to say about periods. In search of a rules-respecting attitude, I went back to Victorian times to find a company that affirmed its value. Rule violations also have less to do with people`s character than with the situations they find themselves in. “Often there is not much awareness of when and to what extent we cross ethical boundaries. We can break the rules in some conditions and in certain ways of thinking, but not in others. Morality is so malleable that the very idea of breaking a rule can change our behavior,” Pincott writes. The researchers also tried to assess whether the tendency to break the rules is in any way related to people`s IQ. Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard University, and Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University and MIT, found that breaking a rule was not so much about people`s intelligence as their level of creativity. Those who cheated performed better in divergent thinking than those who did not. And those who cheated more were more creative than those who cheated less.

From another experiment, which they conducted by posing ethical dilemmas to employees of an advertising agency, the research duo found that workers who had more creative jobs — writers and designers, for example — were more likely to break the rules than those who had less creative jobs, such as accountants. To determine whether some rules are more likely to be broken than others, we focused on the complexity of each rule. We coded each rule according to two types of complexity. First, we coded the number of components for each rule (i.e. Their “size” based on the number of California state code articles that make up the rule). For example, the refrigeration methods rule had only one section, while the food contact surfaces rule consisted of four different sections. Second, we coded the number of connections for each rule (i.e. Your functional connections to other rules in the system). Some rules were self-contained, while others were linked to up to five other rules, so failure to follow one rule could result in non-compliance with another rule.

For example, the rule on food contact surfaces has been linked to five other rules about rodents, cockroaches, and other possible causes of dirty food contact surfaces. The researchers say their findings suggest that compliance promotion requires a more holistic view of how companies deal with the rules imposed on them. “The takeaway here is that how the rules are designed is also important and they should be studied separately,” Ramanujam said. In every type of business, there are rules and regulations that guide a variety of practices and processes to ensure that the business operates safely, fairly, ethically, etc. Virtually all of the research into why companies don`t follow these rules has focused on the organizations themselves. “People`s ability to behave dishonestly may be limited by their ability to cheat and at the same time feel like moral individuals,” Gino told The Harvard Crimson. The duo also explained that creativity makes it possible to retell stories of rule violations to justify why it is morally possible. Gino added: “Creativity and crime reinforce each other. The more creative you are, the more you break the rules, and the more rules you break, the more creative you become. Which rules are most likely to be broken? Research based on 1,011 hygiene inspections of 289 restaurants in California suggests that designing rules can pose significant challenges for otherwise well-intentioned organizations. The researchers found that not only were more complex rules more likely to be violated, but they were also able to determine what kind of complexity led to more repeated violations.

The findings have implications for how regulators and managers design and enforce rules. Finally, the decision to break a rule also depends on the complexity of the rule.