A recent study by the American Managment Association found that, ” Pressure to Meet Unrealistic Business Objectives and Deadlines Is Leading Factor for Unethical Corporate Behavior” (The desire to further one’s career and to protect one’s livelihood are ranked second and third, respectively, as leading factors.)
According to the AMA/HRI survey, working in an environment with cynicism or diminished morale, improper training about, or ignorance that, acts are unethical, and the lack of consequences when caught are the next leading factors likely to cause unethical behavior. These factors are followed by the need to follow the boss’s orders, peer pressure/desire to be a team player, desire to steal from or harm the organization and, paradoxically, wanting to help the organization survive…The survey also found that the single most important ethical leadership behavior is keeping promises, followed by encouraging open communication, keeping employees informed and supporting employees who uphold ethical standards. If an organization has leaders who simply don’t “walk the talk” when it comes to ethics, there’s little hope of maintaining a strong ethical culture.
Sad that this continues to be “new news” isn’t it? We can natter on all day about written codes and more laws, but the bottom line is we can neither mandate morality nor legislate behavior.
So, if you’ve got an “employee problem” – maybe you need to look at the company first.