Increasing number of people looking the other way

12 oktober, 2020

Nordic Business Ethics Network and The Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute (IMM, Institutet Mot Mutor) hosted a seminar on corruption and how it is rationalized by individuals. 

Among the issues adressed were: 
Why do we engage in misconduct or unethical behavior? 
Why do we not act when we encounter such behavior? 
What can we do to about it? 

It is depressing to notice that the number of people who say that they have refrained from acting when encountering unethical behavior has increased since last year. This clearly shows that the topic is more relevant than ever. 

Key takeaways from the webinar: 
There is a common misconception that fraud and corruption have no victims. We need to see the bigger picture how fraud and other misconduct is destroying trust and in the long run seriously damages the business and society. 

But we cannot simply rely on the individual to be strong enough to blow the whistle. We must not underestimate the loyalty to the team that often can be stronger than the will to be honest. It might not even be experienced as an unethical behavior when acting in accordance with the team spirit. 

So what can we do? Establish relevant forums and keep talking about the issue. Normalize the subject. And most of all, walk the talk. Top management must make it clear what is accepted behavior.

If employees engage in misconduct, in many cases they act in accordance with the defacto culture. Even if the policy says something else.  

Please read the reports: 
Nordic business ethics
10 förklaringsmodeller bakom mutor

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