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Top 10 Management on Drivers of Unethical Strategies and Business Behavior: An Overview and Analysis of The Complications of Keeping Things Moral

This review of the top 10 things you need to know about Drivers of Unethical Strategies and Business Behavior was prepared by Cierra Lirette while a Marketing major in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.


There are many drivers in the business world that can cause a company’s strategies and behavior to be unethical. “Unethical” is defined as lacking moral principles and unwilling to adhere to proper rules of conduct ( Having unethical practices in an organization can lead to an abundance of problems. Knowing the drivers of unethical strategies and business behavior can help detect a problem before it arrives.

The Idea in a Nutshell

Many are concerned that we are facing a crisis of ethics that is undermining our competitive strength. This crisis involves business people, government officials, customers, and especially employees. For example, a recent study found that employees accounted for a higher percentage of retail thefts than did customers (Sims, 2002).

The 10 Things You Need to Know About Drivers of Unethical Strategies and Business Behavior

1.    The large numbers of immoral and amoral business people cause companies to have unethical strategic behavior. An immoral person is against ethical behavior, does not consider ethical behavior when making decisions, and only cares about their self. They believe nice guys will always finish last. An immoral person believes different rules apply to business and should not be mixed with normal ethics. It’s normal for them not to consider ethical issues in the decision making processes.

2.    There is an obsessive pursuit of personal gain, wealth, and self-interest in people that lead to unethical practices. People who are obsessed with self-interests such as wealth accumulation, greed, power, and status will ignore ethical principles to get what they want. These selfish ambitions drive them to do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. Such disregard for business ethics will lead to all sorts of unethical strategies and behaviors within companies.

3.    An important driver of unethical practices is the heavy pressures on company managers to meet or beat earnings targets. Managers often feel enormous pressure to do whatever it takes to deliver good financial performance. Under pressure, managers may take action to cut cost whenever savings show up immediately. They may also squeeze extra sales out of early deliveries and/or engage in short-term maneuvers to make the numbers. Managers will tend to stretch the rules further and further, until limits of ethical conduct are overlooked.

4.    A company culture that puts profitability and good business performance ahead of ethical behavior will result in something bad. In an ethically corrupt work environment, it is considered not only acceptable, but desirable, for employees to engage in unethical behaviors and strategies they think they can get away with. A company’s culture such as this can reflect on honorable people to make ethical mistakes and engage in unethical practices. What top managers do, and the culture they establish and reinforce, makes a big difference in the way lower-level employees act and in the way the organization as a whole acts when ethical dilemmas are faced.

5.    Bottom-line mentality is often used amongst organizations. This is where all decisions in an organization are based on money. This line of thinking supports financial success as the only value to be considered. It develops short-term solutions financially while causing problems for others within the organization or the organization as a whole. This is a selfish perspective that may lead to decisions that not only hurt individuals in the long run, but threaten the very existence of organizations themselves.

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