The Ethical Danger of Silence

business_ethics_highlights_2Bad things happen when good people stay silent. And in some organizations, the pressure — implicit or explicit — to stay silent can be overwhelming. Sometimes an organization’s culture just doesn’t encourage people to raise difficult issues, either technical or ethical ones. >>>

The Perfect Deadly Storm: Corporate Silence

Silence can damage future growth unless companies wrap their arms around this phenomenon and its root causes. Cultures of silence are commonly caused by three conditions:

  1. Leadership belief that they have the answers and their opinions matter most.
  2. Futility, which employees experience when they conclude their voice has no merit.
  3. Leadership behaviors perceived by employees as egregious or abusive, such as talking credit for one’s ideas or public ridicule.

(As one of the Editors wrote elsewhere: quite often knowing the right thing to do is easier than speaking up.)

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