Unethical Behaviours: A Risk to Organizational Success - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1832 Words
Date:  2023-01-19


Recently, the cases of unethical behaviours in organisations have increased and are tied to the organisation's handling of finances. Individuals in these organisations have an opportunity to and a standard of responsibility to be devoted to the rules of quality of ethical and moral standards in the place of work. Proper ethical conducts add up to the success of the individual organization, while unethical conducts ultimately destroy the organisation. Unethical behaviours can be described as any action that is set out to taking advantage of the other without his/her consent. The current society has been entirely out of touch with the essential principles of integrity and moral fairness. This is indicated by the current increase in the cases of corruption in business organisations where the real meaning of ethical conducts has almost been forgotten. However, there are ways in which these unethical behaviours can be easily noticed and dealt with. The paper shall analyse cases of unethical conducts found in various organisations as indicated by various articles that shall be discussed. It shall also explain the psychology that underlays ethical lapses in the corporate world. The paper shall also provide the relevant recommendations proposed to eradicate cases of unethical behaviours. Unethical standards of action are the significant causes of the failure of organisations.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

According to the article "What BP was Missing on Deepwater Horizon: a whistleblower" by Eleanor Bloxham in 2010, everyone has the responsibility to speak up in a circumstance where ethical conducts are being violated. However, there are circumstances that people choose not to speak up due to various reasons, as described in this article. According to the letter written by BP CEO, BP is committed to the safety measures that are required in by each in the company to alert them on safety risks as they perform their job (Phillips, & Gully 2013). However, this is in contrast to what happened in Deepwater Horizon when the oil spillage in one of its vessel exploded. The main question to this company is, were the safety measures are known before the explosion at Deepwater Horizon? Therefore the board of directors needs to answer this question to understand what should be done to create a culture of accountability and non-retaliation. The article provides a lesson by NASA 's challenger that is relevant in this issue. This lesson state that there are individuals who are aware of certain flaws that can be heard and heeded to prevent tragedies (Phillips, & Gully 2013). Nonetheless, in such a situation, failure of communication which might be as a result of mistrust may lead to great catastrophes within an organization (Bloxham, 2010). If an individual's safety of voice is responded to appropriately, then such disasters can be easily controlled.

Every association requires various primary principles to pass the message to the concern of the management and other top officials. First, an organization needs to value the voice of outsiders, such as outside auditors since they are more probable to speak on specific issues than those within the environment of the establishment. The main reason why the people within an organizational environment are reluctant to talk about a problem is that a chain of command binds them, and they have restrictions to go outside of the command. Therefore, expressing a sense of independent thinking can be challenging in a hazardous environment since they are dependent on each other. More so, the fear of retaliation or losing a job, which is a higher risk makes the worker's independent thinking difficult (Bloxham, 2010). Thus, independence and the appropriate relationship with the management are essential in ensuring that they are supposed to be in the concern of management to ensure the adequate performance of the organization in their flub duties. Secondly, a smaller community that is involved in making decisions reduces the likelihood of whistleblowing. When workers live and work together in isolation, they develop a sense of solidarity and collective experiences. On the other hand, the bosses still work together as a group, and they are the ones involved in the decision making of the company. When people are working together, they encounter with each other more frequently, and it is common to human that they try to retain a good relationship for the next encounter, which might prevent raising problems.

Thirdly, the article outlines that professional standards and codes of ethics are essential in an organizational setting (Bloxham, 2010). Individuals must attain the sense of fidelity to the set conducts and professional standards, which is more important than the pressure for the loyalty of the group where they work. In the case presented by the article on the oil spill, the Society of Petroleum Engineers has a guide to the ethical conducts in its Professional Conduct guide. These guides should be followed appropriately to ensure that the right ethical behaviors are observed to minimize the risks of unethical behaviours (Phillips, & Gully 2013). Lastly, the article suggests that workers should be appraised for their responsibility, and the appropriate measures are taken to mitigate retaliations. Workers of the BP Company have raised complaints of retaliation due to their ethical conduct of disclosing the news. Thee survivors of the explosion at DeepWater horizons were fired for raising their concerns on the safety issue. This article indicates that there has been a challenge to conduct ethically for since most organisations take malicious actions on whistleblowers.

In the article "Stumbling into Bad Behavior" by Berzman and Tenbrunsel, the authors state that whenever concerns are raised on the goals of a particular organisation such as improvement of sales, crucial ethical decisions may be disregarded. This makes people engage in behaviours that can be condemned if one is aware of them. The article also explains the psychology behind the pervasiveness and intractability of ethical dealings. The author indicates that sanctions such as penalties and fines may cause perverse effects of an increase in the unethical behaviour that they are made to detect (Bottoni, 2010). The article provides analyses of a case where individuals are tied to a sanction where, in one case, there are fines and penalties while the others lack. The individual entitled to penalties is more likely to involve in unethical functions than the one who is not authorised to the same. This has been explained by the fact that people view penalties as financial other than ethical (Bazerman, & Tenbrunsel 2011). Therefore, increasing transparency through the disclosure of conflicts of interest is the most viable solution in this setting. The legal system should focus on both intentional and unintentional ethical misconducts since all of them can be harmful other than mainly holding accountable only the people with intentional moral wrongdoings.

The article "Business as Usual: The Acceptance and Perpetuation of Corruption in Organizations" by Vikas Anad, Blake E. Ashforth, and Mahendra Joshi discusses cases of fraud and corruption among the top official's members of big organisations who are viewed as innocent and fruitful members of the community. This article discusses the act of rationalisation of corruption, which has been used by these top members to justify their unethical conducts. Previously, fraud was not common among many organisations. Currently, the majority of organisation are engaging in this activity either as a way of boosting their business or covering up messes that are already done (Phillips, & Gully 2013). Rationalisation of corruption is described as a way of excusing one's action by viewing them as non-criminal, acceptable, or even a part of a situation that they are not in power to control. One of the most viable findings in white colour jobs is that people engaging themselves in fraud does not view themselves as corrupt. Moreover, they deny being labelled as criminals. The rationalising tactics are used to make the corrupt accts look like reasonable and justifiable business activities (Anad, Ashforth, & Joshi, 2005). Rationalisation can be done before the actual act of fraud to clear the guilt of consequences, or after the action to ease the doubts of their behaviour.

There are six rationalisation tactics used by employees in the work setting. They include denial of responsibility; rejection of the injury caused by the act; social comparison where individuals weigh their actions with those of others; appeal to higher loyalties such as loyalty to the boss, and the metaphor of the ledger where the actors say that they are acting in such a way due to their accumulated credits in their businesses. The article also describes that the corruption existing in an organization can be socialized to newcomers through three main ways which include compromise; where they engage in bribery to solve pressuring dilemmas, incrementalism; where they are gotten into corruption gradually which usually starts with a less deviant act, and co-optation; where the newcomers are rewarded for their unethical behaviours. Although fraud acts are beneficial to many organisations, they can cause significant harm to the society, and therefore, the legal system should spread its arms further to cut down these unethical behaviours by summoning the involved.

There are several remedies and corrective action that can be taken by an organisation to ensure it maintains the ethical conducts as shown by investigations done by John Day. His article, Day, describes the unethical behaviour undertaken by Fox school to improve its ranking for selfish reasons. These recommendations include assessing the responsibilities of the relevant person and taking the necessary action towards the person. More so, communicating instances of misconducts, and determining its nature acts as appropriate remedies for unethical conduct. Instituting policies that overlook the dealings of every organisation, and those that address the mandatory reporting of misconduct are also necessary (Day, 2018). Employees should be trained on ethics and should be ranked according to their level of consistency in ethical dealings. Da also proposes that institutions should strengthen the aspects of relevant procedures and strategies which include all the applicable improvements.


In conclusion, ethical violations cause significant damages to society, no matter how mild they may look. Lack of proper communication between the employees and the employers can affect reporting of unethical conducts, which might be a source of significant tragedies like the one seen on the Deepwater Horizon. However, there have been ways of justifying unethical behaviours. These methods include rationalisation of corruption and socialisation of the same. In this scope, individuals attempt to explain their actions by either introducing it to other members of an organisation (socialisation) or making their efforts look beneficial for the organisation (rationalisation). The remedies proposed for unethical conducts include setting up appropriate policies and ranking individuals in an organisation according to their ethical reasoning and behaviour.


Anad, V., Ashforth, B.E., & Joshi, M. (2005). Business as Usual: The Acceptance and Perpetuation of Corruption in Organizations. Academy of Management Executive, 19(4).

Bazerman, M. H., & Tenbrunsel, A. E. (2011). Blind Spots: Why We Fail to do What's Right and What to do About it. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Bloxham, E. (2010). What BP was Missing on Deepwater Horizon: Whistleblower. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Centage Learning.

Bottoni, M., (2010). The Cost of Unethical Behavior: A pending Issue at th...

Cite this page

Unethical Behaviours: A Risk to Organizational Success - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 19). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/unethical-behaviours-a-risk-to-organizational-success-essay-sample

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the midtermguru.com website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism