ETHICS is defined as ‘the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation’ – Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary. In the organizations, ethical standards are set mainly as the guide for good ethical behaviors. It is aspired that by upholding the ethical standards, organizations will prosper for the benefits of the people.
Anyhow, as the issue of power and politics are common in the organizations, there are people of interest that frequently putting aside the ethical standards. In their attempts to climb the desired ladder of success, or maintain their positions, or bring up their organizations to a higher level, they may skip normal procedures of accomplishing tasks and not adhering to the ethical responsibilities.
Success and profitability, either individually or organizationally aimed, are among the causes that lead people to neglecting the ethical standards.
In the governmental organizations, for example, lower and middle managers are often not presenting to the knowledge of the upper managements about the real problems within their responsible units. Presenting the truth might encapsulated their deficient in the managerial capabilities, thus would affect their opportunities for promotion and other future prosperities. While at times, the upper managements themselves are often making critical and self-beneficial decisions, which they likely claimed are for the benefits of the organization, without considering the welfare of the employees.
Whether these managers are conscious or not about their ethical behaviors, but those attitudes are having some relation with the issues of seeking or maintaining certain power, or complying with the organizational politics, meant for individual success.
As for the business organizations, particularly in competing to lead the market, some would skip the ethical standards. Dumping the less quality or fake products in the market is considered unethical, but in doing so, besides the selling power they could achieve, they also gain great profitability. In other circumstance, some companies would rather give bride to the government officials in return of securing the project awards. The many reported cases of improper disposing of hazardous waste products (such as the toxic waste) by factories in attempts to avoid the normal disposal cost, is another example where ethical standards are being neglected for the reason of profitability.
Thus, among the many that are safe-guarding their integrity, there are common that some organizations, governmental or business, do frequently skip the ethical standards for certain benefits. And behind it, the reality is the people in the organizations – how their ethical behaviors are associated with the desired success and profitability.