Ethical behaviour in organisations has been in news following revelation that Intel India is asking some of its employee to put in papers after an audit report found that a large no of its employees have been submitting false expenditure claims.An article by Kirk O. Hanson titled "Who Says Cheaters Never Win?" has some interesting observations on unethical human behaviour and the reasons behind these actions.
Some children and their parents have convinced themselves that they have to be superstars and go to Harvard, Stanford, or Brown to have a worthwhile life. This attitude leads to cheating by the most qualified, not the least qualified, students in some schools.
Adding to the temptation, athletes, high school students, and scientists may convince themselves that anyone who is on top has cheated to get there, and therefore they rationalize it for themselves.
So, we have become a society captivated by the winner. We have made the one who dominates the box office, comes out on top in sports, or rises to the peak in business a new kind of royalty. It is no wonder people cheat.
He suggests that instead of encouraging the culture of "winners have it all" we need to have a society which respects individuals best effort.
Encouraging doing your best will require all of us to compliment and celebrate the efforts by those we know and love. The spouse who works hard but does'nt get the promotion deserves a dinner out. The child who studies diligently but gets a C grade should be praised.
Above all, we need to raise our children to resist the temptation to cheat. There is no way to make a rational case for honesty when getting that extra edge may help you come out on the top of the heap. My colleague and character education expert Steve Johnson says honesty must be instilled as a habit from an early age.
We should demonstrate to our kids that we adults abhor cheating. We should refuse to honor those who cheat perhaps by boycotting certain baseball games or the stock of an errant company. Let tell our kids cheaters are jerks. We should support the efforts our schools, sports leagues, and courts take to punish cheating.