It seems the days of Gordon Gekko's 'greed is good' speech aren't quite as far behind us as we thought. PlanetRecruit.com, an online job ads firm, went out to get some light-hearted research it could use to wheedle its way into the pages of the IT press, and found us all sadly wanting.
PlanetRecruit's survey Is Political Correctness in or out in the workplace this century? found what evils people would do to secure a promotion. The results make interesting, if paranoia-inducing, reading. Though men came out worse, both sexes still seem ready to climb over the backs of colleagues to win.
Some 62 percent of men and 38 percent of women said they would resort to character assassination to get ahead of their colleagues for a promotion. Men appear more machiavellian, especially in passing off. Seven out of 10 men (compared to only three in 10 women) said they would take the credit for someone else's work.
Playing the sympathy card was almost an even split. The only category in which women came top, 54 percent of women (eight percent more than men) agreed they would use this tactic to move up the career ladder.
The old cliché of sleeping your way to the top appears alive and well too, with 72 percent of men and 28 percent of women surveyed saying they would sleep with their boss to secure a promotion.
Of course, women could be being even more devious by lying to the survey.
"In reality, to gain a more accurate picture of people's opinions on political correctness the sample may have to be expanded to several thousand. [But] I'd still advise people to watch their backs in the workplace," said Megan Hayes, marketing manager for PlanetRecruit.