When Good People Do Bad Things

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  • Published : October 9, 2010
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Article Summary
The article discusses on the relationship between the unhealthy organization culture and the employees' unethical behaviors. At the beginning of the article, the author gives us an example of how an ambitious and energetic employee, called Crystal, becomes unenthusiastic and institutionalized under the organization’s risk-management policy and corrupt organizational culture. The author believes that people who join organizations with full of enthusiasm often feel cheated by organizations, and then begin in turn to cheat organizations in unconscious ways. People begin to hide their real selves at work and operate out of a persona that they adopt exclusively for the workplace. Although there are many reasons why good people do bad things in the workplace, it is a key point that managing for an ethical workplace is typically seen as a cost rather than an investment in capacity building. Unhealthy organization culture leads to institutional bullying and hostile work environment, and the fine line between benign management controls and bullying can be unclear. Therefore, business leaders should pay much greater attention to the under-discussed dynamic- how organizations teach good people behave inappropriately. Furthermore, several researches and analysis are used to demonstrate that the pressure from risk-management policy is the factor most likely to cause employees to do unethical behavior, that business leaders have to play an active role in managing organizational culture and its ethical dimension, and that teaching business ethics must happen inside workplaces. Organizations must take their responsibilities and create safe places where the discussion of ethical challenges is encouraged, supported, and rewarded to avoid corporate shortcomings resulted from unethical behavior and unhealthy organizational culture.

Implication
The article represents an example of how a newcomer of a firm has been changed and worn down over time to delineate the...
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