The Ethical Shift in American Business

Over the past few years we have seen a significant shift in business ethics. For some managers it is deemed acceptable to “bend the legal rules” as long as it ultimately benefits the company. This ethical system, often called teleological ethics, is being embraced by many managers and executive today when placed under pressure to be competitive in the business world.

Others hold to a more traditional form of ethics called deontological ethics where the right thing is done no matter what the consequences are—even if it means getting fired.

So how does a project manager choose the right ethical system when faced with pressures from executive managers to do whatever it takes to benefit the company?


3 thoughts on “The Ethical Shift in American Business”

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    Every leader needs to think about who they are, what they stand for, and what they are committed to MORE than their job and their paycheck. This values conversation must then expand to the team and the organization at large. If we do not give this conscious thought we are in danger of slipping into unethical behavior and compromising our integrity, which will compromise our leadership effectiveness. If we are not able to put our jobs at risk, then our integrity IS at risk. I am always ready to walk away if it is impossible to work in alignment with my values. Without a behavioral code of conduct we not only risk losing our integrity, we also risk losing our sense of who we are as human beings. Without a moral compass we are no better than cattle feeding at a corporate trough!

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