Causes of Unethical Behavior in a Workplace

Behavior in a Workplace

Unethical behavior in the workplace can be an expensive and complex test for a business to manage. Every day about 120 million people walk into a workplace and within the previous year, practically 50% of these workers personally witnessed some type of ethical misconduct. A researcher from the Journal of Business Ethics found that while ethics at a corporate level are improving, there are still huge difficulties in addressing issues at the individual level. Poor practices by workers can affect reputation, morale, and productivity.

We are not discussing workers being conscious of the CFO committing fraud. More probably, it’s someone who lies to a boss or turned in a false expense report. However, below are some causes of unethical behavior in a workplace are listed: 

1. Misusing Company Time

One of the most regularly revealed “bad behaviors” in the workplace is the misuse of company time. This category includes knowing that one of your colleagues is directing personal business on company time, staff appearing late, extra breaks or falsifying timesheets. These negative behavior patterns can rapidly spread to different workers. It can also cultivate hatred amongst colleagues, severely influencing morale and efficiency. 

2. Unethical Leadership 

Having a personal issue with your boss or manager is a certain thing, yet reporting to a person who is acting dishonestly is another. This may come in a clear form, such as manipulating numbers in a report or sending company money on improper activities; nonetheless, it can also happen more subtly, through bullying, accepting inadequate gifts from suppliers, or requesting that you avoid a standard system just once. With studies demonstrating that managers are responsible for 60 percent of workplace wrongdoing, the abuse of leadership authority is a disastrous reality.

3. Lying to Employees

The quickest way to lose the trust of your employees is to lie to them, but managers do it constantly. One out of every five workers reports that their supervisor or manager has lied to them within the previous year.

4. Harassment and Discrimination

Laws require associations to be equivalent to business opportunity employers. Organizations must select a various workplace, authorize policies and training that help an equivalent open door program, and encourage a situation that is respectful of a wide range of people. Unfortunately, there are still numerous people whose practices break with EEOC rules and regulations. When harassment and discrimination of employees based on ethnicity, race, gender, handicap or age occur, has a moral line been crossed as well as a legitimate one also. Most companies are attentive to maintain a strategic distance from the costly legal and public implications of harassment and discrimination, so you may experience this ethical problem in more delicate ways, from apparently “harmless” offensive jokes by a manager to a more unavoidable “group think” mindset that can be a symptom of a toxic culture. This could be a group mindset toward an “other” group. Your best reaction is to keep up your qualities and repel such intolerant, illegal or unethical group standards by offering an option, inclusive aspect as the best decision for the group and the company. 

5. Violating Company Internet Policy

Cyberloafers, Cyberslackers. These are terms used to recognize people who surf the web when they ought to work. It’s a huge, multi-billion dollar issue for organizations. Every day at least 64 percent of employers visit sites that have nothing to do with their work. Who might have imagined that checking your Facebook page is becoming an ethical issue? 


Today, there is an enormous loss of trust in corporate conduct and there is an urgent need to progress towards reestablishing it. Don’t separate the values and ethics of the business from everyday exercises. They ought to be incorporated with the work process of tasks and be part of the general culture, rather than simply existing on paper. Identifying these causes of unethical behavior in the workplace could avoid issues and limit harm. If the workplace can see substantial outcomes being achieved, a helpful group culture will create. It is also very important that the business and managers reflect on the changes they need to find in employees. Employees at all levels of the business are responsible for developing an ethical work culture. Be the change you need to find in the business. 

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