Ethics At Ground Level
I’ve observed that most unethical behavior in organizations is a result of people believing they’re helping the company, not themselves. I’m not talking about Enron, or Wells Fargo, or Volkswagen, and their huge, corporate coverups. I’m talking about delivering substandard materials because the cost of doing them over again would impact the department’s profit contribution; of deceiving clients so that they don’t demand their money back for services not performed; or sending undertrained people to customers because of staff shortages.
The “justification” in these decisions is that “it’s for the good of the corporation.” But it’s never for the good of the customer or client, and it’s still an ethical transgression.
It’s one thing to steal bread because your family needs food, it’s another to steal services because your company needs profit.