Editor’s Top Choice:
From Mark Willen of Talking Ethics:
“Tempted to take an extra shampoo bottle from your hotel room? Or to say you’ve got a bad headache so you can leave work early to get ready for a big date? Be careful. What may seem like a small ethical transgression now could lead to much bigger problems in the future. At least that’s the result of a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Researchers trying to understand big corporate scandals found that when a small ethical sin goes unchecked, bigger sins are much more likely to follow.
“The study, by David Welsh of the University of Washington, Michael Christian of the University of North Carolina, Lisa Ordóñez of the University of Arizona, and Deirdre Snyder of Providence College, involved tempting subjects with small ethical challenges and then moving on to more serious problems.“ Read more
Other Featured Picks of the Week
Jim Nortz, contributing writer for Pacific Business News:
“A few weeks ago, my wife came home from work with tears in her eyes. Later, I found out that the cause of her upset was an officious, mean-spirited co-worker who frequently went out of her way to ridicule, criticize and generally pick on my wife.
“My wife’s response to this office jerk was one that we’ve all engaged in to one degree or another — she complained to her co-workers about what happened. Unfortunately for my wife, word of this got back to the boss, who essentially told her to knock it off and that if the two of them could not get along, my wife would be the one to go.
“This scenario plays itself out every day in offices around the world and is likely one that each of us will encounter multiple times before we retire. The question many of us struggle with is how best to respond to a nasty co-worker or boss.“ Read more
Richard Brownell of PR News:
“In our excessively litigious society, corporate decision makers are often motivated by the legal implications of their actions. And rightly so. Few things make for bad PR quite like a lawsuit. But, sometimes, companies are so preoccupied with the legally defensible that they lose sight of ethical boundaries.
“Consider the recent news about Facebook’s secret psychological study that it performed on its users in 2012. Sure, the social network was probably within its legal bounds to execute the study, but its actions weren’t ethical. Users who trusted Facebook to deliver their news feed content and protect their data felt betrayed. The media also resoundingly came out against Facebook for unethical behavior.” Read more
From Moira Forbes of Forbes:
“According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO of the Center For Talent Innovation, how you perform in your job isn’t enough to land you a spot in the corner office. In her latest book, Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, Hewlett argues that being perceived as “leadership material” is just as critical as ability when it comes to achieving career success . Hewlett’s research reveals that a variety of factors contribute to projecting a leadership presence, from how you dress each day, to the way you communicate, and even to the number of PowerPoint slides used in a presentation. For women, this can present unique challenges, says Hewlett, as a narrower band of acceptable behavior remains in the workplace.” Read more
From Elizabeth Grace Saunders of 99U:
“Not only did you indulge in actions that weren’t aligned with your goals, but you also felt you deserved them, so you didn’t feel bad at the time. But when you looked back at your productivity break, the aftertaste was awful. What was I thinking? How did I end up wasting the rest of this week when it started out so well?
“What happened was moral licensing. You being ‘so good’ yesterday that it made you feel justified in being a ‘little bit bad‘ today.
“If you are prone to moral licensing (which most of us are to some extent) when you do, say, or even think about doing something good, you’re more likely to give yourself permission to do whatever you want, even if it is in direct contradiction to your goals. You don’t question your impulses, but simply go with them because you’ve ‘earned it.’” Read more
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