Stories in the media about everything from corporate scandals to political machinations to gangland killings often cite loyalty as a primary driver of corruption. We read about employees who didn’t report misconduct out of loyalty to dishonest colleagues or about a group of employees who embezzled money from the organization while remaining loyal to one another.
Most of us feel loyalty, whether to our clan, our comrades, an organization, or a cause. These loyalties are often important aspects of our social identity. Once a necessity for survival and propagation of the species, loyalty to one’s in-group is deeply rooted in human evolution.