Fraud, Corruption and Bribery - 17-01

How does someone with integrity move to a position

This preview shows page 2 - 4 out of 8 pages.

How does someone with integrity move to a position where they are able to act contrary to their own initial moral judgment or see little wrong in accepting the corrupt alternative? Managers faced with opportunities to significantly improve sales but in some doubt about the methods that might be used, will often experience some moral uneasiness. This discomfort, or gap, is “moral
Image of page 2

Subscribe to view the full document.

Follow us on Twitter @fraudintell and join discussions in our Linkedin group 3 © Informa UK Ltd 2012 You may be breaching copyright if you photocopy any pages from this publication. To purchase additional copies or site licences, please call 020 7017 4192 dissonance”; the term “dissonance” originates from music, it is the discordant effect of hearing tones that don’t sound pleasant when played at the same time. A person whose moral convictions do not harmonise with their intended actions engages in moral neutralisation, a term coined by sociologists Sykes and Matza (1957). The process, which has to operate in advance of the act, requires self-justification: “I really didn’t have a choice”; “Nobody will get hurt because of what I do”; “Those who are critical of such conduct don’t understand the unwritten rules of business”; “This is simply how things are done in our sector.” We believe that business people need to acknowledge moral responsibility for their decisions and conduct, which, after all, can have widespread social consequences. It is therefore important to find practical and constructive measures to counter corruption. How can people like James and Tony guard against encountering sets of events that invite moral dissonance, leading to moral neutralisation and conduct that is contrary to their professed moral convictions? Any situation which gives rise to conflict between a person’s beliefs and the choices they face creates “cognitive dissonance”. In Example 1, James is tempted to pay the consultant to secure a type of sales contract that Multinat, Tony, the board and he all desire. At the same time James does the best he can to follow the company’s ethical code. The code, with its phrases like “We should attempt at all times to fight bribery and corruption”, resonates well with James’ own moral beliefs. However, he harbours doubts about the consultant and his methods; parallels that might run through his mind include: the athlete who is convinced that use of certain performance-enhancing drugs is unacceptable but at the same time competes in an environment where they are readily available to everyone in the sport; the financial adviser in a bank who wants to make the customer’s interest paramount but is under pressure to achieve sales targets for the bank’s own products. James feels he has a near impossible job. If he asks too many questions of the consultant, he fears that the dissonance he is experiencing will grow while, at the same time, he is obliged to follow and conform to the ethical rules laid down by Tony and the board.
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
  • Spring '12
  • Ahmed
  • Ethics , moral dissonance

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern