How Organizational Culture Enables Ethical Misconducts

In the corporate world, ethics is a significant topic that enables business people to define acceptable business behaviors and interact appropriately. Despite ethics being taught in business school, most people find themselves acting unethically when a dilemma arises in the organizational setting.

Research indicates that organizational culture erodes most of the ethical behaviors that individuals learn in business school. It replaces an individual's mind with a new set of rules that are acquired and assimilated within the organization settings. Consequently, organization mindset becomes the most significant reason as to why business cultures foster ethical misconducts.

Organizational mindset establishes a stage for individual performance that promotes unethical tendencies, which deviates from the ethical teachings that one learns in business school. While interacting with colleagues and observing how other people behave within an organization, an individual's ethical knowledge and intentions are overcome by the new information and awareness brought about by new experiences within the organization.

How behaviors are assimilated in an organization.png

Assimilation of behaviors in an organization (RSM Discovery)

So, conventional education in ethics is negated by the organizational context that the individual experiences. This influences how individuals perceive right from wrong due to the fact that they are exposed to experiences that render education useless.

Additionally, individual greed also plays a significant role in enabling ethical misconduct within an organization because greed and poor moral choices hinder appropriate ethical standards when making decisions. Some individuals with questionable moral standards are driven into ethical misconduct due to the allure of big money returns.

However, when the organizational culture adheres to strict ethical standards, even unscrupulous people may be hindered from engaging in ethical misconduct due to the consequences, On the other hand, when the organizational culture supports unethical behavior, individuals with conventional education about ethics may be lured into ethical misconduct since the settings permit.