Unethical Conduct Lurking

man crossing fingers behind back Unethical Conduct LurkingWho is ethical? Who can I trust? Scams and scandals are always in the news. Alarming statistics indicate that 75 – 98 percent of college students have cheated at least once. All up significantly.

With the integrity landscape fading it’s not surprising that your BBB of Southern Colorado saw a 29% increase in inquiries in 2011. In other words, more people are checking on businesses by reading and trusting the BBB Business Reviews before spending their money.

Why do people bend the rules? Craig Ross, co-author of the book Stomp the Elephant in the Office; Put an End to the Toxic Workplace, Get More Done — and Be Excited About Work Again says there are five factors.

  • Organization Culture:  People follow the norm of behavior of others around them.
  • Reward System:  Unethical and improper behavior is reinforced through compensation and recognition. In others words, sales and making money take precedence over doing the right thing.
  • Urban Legend:  We avoid making the difficult decisions. We tell ourselves that everyone else is doing it and/or things are unfair.
  • Managerial Pressure:  People above us can consciously or unconsciously pressure us to make bad decisions to save face on behalf of other people, the company, or institution.
  • Pleasure:  The desire to have all the “pleasures” of life can influence our good judgment and principles.

Be on the alert to not let your ethical radar fade — while avoiding being judgmental. Do things to encourage principled behavior in yourself and others around you.

What behavior have you seen that shouts, “Let’s do the right thing?”

If you know of an exceptionally ethical company in our southern Colorado service area, consider nominating them for the GE Johnson Award for Marketplace Ethics. This award was created to honor outstanding businesses whose commitment to ethical business practices help promote and uphold a fair marketplace. Click here for more information.

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About Carol Odell

Carol J. Odell, is the CEO of the Better Business of Southern Colorado and has been with the BBB for twenty years. Even before her BBB life she was involved in the community as a volunteer and co-owner of a manufacturing business. She is a published author, speaker, wife, mother, and grandmother --- and enjoys all of these roles.