Business Review - Stop Tolerating Unacceptable Behavior

Jan 13, 2022

Why do certain unethical employees seem to get away with everything?
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Why does bad behavior at times seem to be acceptable in the workplace Assistant Professor of Management, Matthew Quade says it's because he or she is producing results. Quade studied the tolerance of lesser types of unethical behaviors, such as taking a box of Kleenex home from work without permission or fudging numbers on an expense report. Activities, he says more people are likely to engage in. His research shows employees who act unethically tend to be ostracized. Coworkers don't want to associate with those who are doing bad things, “But what happens to that relationship when performance is entered into the equation, when performance comes into play, we find that that effect kind of goes away and people go, oh, well, maybe I, maybe I am okay in interacting with these people. And we found that people are not as likely to ostracize unethical people. If they're high performers.” Quade found these relationships held regardless of gender, whether it was a man or woman didn't seem to matter, nor did the cultural ethos of the business. “So it didn't matter whether the organization was highly ethical culture or a low moral culture.” The ramifications of allowing questionable conduct can be devastating to an organization it's been shown to decrease profits. Employees are less likely to stay with a company saturated with unethical behavior and it damages workplace relationships. Quade suggests companies hire and trained principled leaders with integrity. Managers who not only talk about moral standards, but also live them out and are prepared to discipline employees based on ethical behavior.  The “Business Review” is a production of KWBU, Livingston and McKay, and the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.