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How Corporate Culture Drives Ethics


When it comes to doing the right thing, it’s not always easy. Some jobs place a priority over the safety of others, such as doctors, dentists, and even professional engineers. Morality, however, does not always play a role in a company’s bottom line. Indeed, the motto “profits over people” is often true.

So when an employee is faced with an ethical issue — for example, should they continue manufacturing a car or building a bridge even though there are structural issues involved? — they may look to their company for guidance. But do they really trust the organization? Will the company make decisions that are in the public’s best interest?

Corporate culture drives ethics. As employees, we expect our companies to do the right thing. As licensed professionals, we are also expected to act in an ethical manner at all times. However, there are a lot of psychological influences involved, including external pressures, unconscious biases, and the inability to take responsibility.

The company’s attitude plays a big role. When there is trust in the organization, it promotes a willingness to call out wrongdoing.

Ethical failures happen a lot in the automotive industry. There are reporting issues as well as manufacturing defects that happen all the time. That’s because decision makers often have ethical blind spots that may cause them to act unethically without even realizing it. The decision’s ethical implications tend to fade into the background while other elements take center stage.

Some corporate cultures do not promote ethical behavior, which means that decision makers may engage in unethical conduct. They choose to remain ignorant of it rather than learning about the importance of ethics.

Every company should have an ethics and compliance program in place. When a corporate culture values ethics and compliance, it provides optimal organizational functioning in various areas, including employee engagement, whistleblowing, and individual commitment to ethical behavior.

Overall, ethical cultures are built or destroyed by trust or mistrust in the organization. In fact, trust is known as “the glue that binds corporate culture.” Many employees don’t trust the companies they work for, so they are more likely to engage in unethical behavior, since they have no sense of accountability. They may even be discouraged from saying anything. Those who do trust their employers will work hard to stay ethical in all their professional matters. They remain accountable for their actions and expect peers and supervisors to do the same.

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Professional Engineers Licensing Lawyer 

Professional engineers and other licensed professionals have to deal with ethical issues on a regular basis. Making the right decisions can be hard when

A Tampa professional engineers licensing lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you with ethical issues you may face in your field. I have represented more than 100 professional engineers before the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (813) 968-6633.