What makes a company ethical or unethical?


The people at the top:

To understand the impact top managers have on ethics and honesty, we looked at the data we’d collected from 5,268 leaders in five different organizations. The data identified each leader by level (e.g., top management, middle management, lower level management). The graph below shows the average of all leaders, along with the highest- and the lowest-rated organizations. In all three organizations, the rating decreases at every level as you move down the management chain.

…Generally speaking, in our long years of collecting 360 responses, we have found the top managers in an organization create a ceiling — that is, leaders the next level down tend to be rated lower than their managers on every leadership dimension — and that includes their honesty and integrity. In other words, levels of honesty are set at the top and can only go downhill from there.

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