Laroche, Hervé, Steyer, Véronique and Théron, Christelle (2019) How could you be so gullible? Scams and over-trust in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 160 (n° 3). pp. 641-656.

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Identification Number : 10.1007/s10551-018-3941-z


Trust is a key ingredient of business activities. Scams are spectacular betrayals of trust. When the victim is a powerful organization that does not look vulnerable at first sight, we can suspect that this organization has developed an excessive trust, or over-trust. In this article, we take over-trust as the result of the intentional production of gullibility by the scammer. The analysis of a historically famous scam case, the Elf “Great Sniffer Hoax,” suggests that the victim is made gullible by the scammer through a range of seduction and protection maneuvers that prevent the victim from developing doubts and suspicions. An integrated framework of the production of gullibility in organizations is proposed in order to further our understanding of over-trust. We discuss how these insights might be extended, beyond the case of scams, to more ordinary contexts of business activities.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: 2019
Refereed: Yes
Place of Publication: Londres, Royaume-Uni
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case study, Gullibility, Scams, Secrecy, Trust
Subjects: C- GESTION
Divisions: TSM Research (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 12:15
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2021 15:21
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