Ethics @ Work

PMI Bangalore India Chapter

Alankar is a senior program manager in Bangalore, India.

Ethical problems are common in workplaces where many individuals work with different motivations, ideas, education, and very diverse backgrounds. These factors can drive decision-making on a daily basis.

According to Max H. Bazerman (2008), Straus Professor at Harvard University Business School, ethical lapses in projects contribute to huge losses and brand dilution. These lapses not only impact the project itself, but contribute to a negative workplace culture that damages trust and leadership effectiveness. When ethical lapses occur, they rarely happen in situations where there is a clear right or wrong. They are likely to occur when what is morally or ethically right is less clear. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of approaches to dealing with ethical project dilemmas. It’s not only important to see the ethical dilemma but also to effectively address the issue within the project environment.

Consider this example:

A sales person has a high revenue target for the current quarter. This target can be easily achieved if the sales person sells the products to the clients while concealing information about new offerings which will soon be available and will make the product sold today obsolete in the next six months.

An individual response to the above situation is influenced by many factors such as ethical value system, peer behavior, and …

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