B.L. Ochman's Ethics Blog: What's the most unethical thing you ever did in business? Confess, anonymously. We'll rate how bad you were.

Is it unethical if he gets new business for this company?

My company is all but broke, with a greatly reduced staff funded by a few existing contracts. These we are serving properly. However, my job entails seeking contracts for new business with these entities. We are trying to sell the company, and expect to have a resolution within 3 months.

If we can sell, and if we sell to the right type of buyer, there will be an ability and an interest in fulfilling these new contracts. However, if we fail to sell, or sell to a buyer with different interests, we may leave the client in the lurch.

Am I being unethical in pursuing new business under these conditions? There are financial benefits to me if we sell, otherwise I would no longer be here.

NOTE: this confession was sent to EthicsCrisis Blog anonymously. Now you can comment and/or vote on how ethical you think it was (or wasn’t) on a scale of 1-10)

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Current average rating: 5.40
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Gave away his company’s software to friends. Do you think this is right?

When I worked for a software company I had the right to install a windows for free on my computer at work. However, I was taking the CDs with the Windows and I installed it on my home computers. Also I was lending it to my friends. I lent it to about 10 people.
Do you think this is right?

NOTE: this confession was sent to EthicsCrisis Blog anonymously. Now you can comment and/or vote on how ethical you think it was (or wasn’t) on a scale of 1-10)

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Current average rating: 6.95
Vote total: 37
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People at my company take home tons of office supplies

Here’s the most recent anonymous confession received at Ethics Crisis Blog. Personally, I think this confession describes common thievery, and find it unacceptable. What do you think? Please enter your vote below, and also feel free to comment.
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Several (actually a lot) people in my company use the supply room like it is a stationary store. They take home envelopes, tape, pens, staplers, paper, you name it. Nobody tries to hide what they’re doing and this seems to be accepted procedure. I don’t say anything because I don’t want to seem like the office snitch. Still, it bothers me. (Name Withheld)

NOTE: this confession was sent to EthicsCrisis Blog anonymously. Now you can comment and/or vote on how ethical you think it was (or wasn’t) on a scale of 1-10)

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Current average rating: 6.88
Vote total: 48
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Gave a friend an advantage in a bidding process

From what I’ve seen, a lot of people do this for friends and relatives, but it’s fraud, pure and simple.

Does this anonymous confession bother you as much as it bothers me? Please enter your vote below, and your comments. Is there an unethical thing you did in business? Confess – anonymously – and we’ll rate your transgression.
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Brought a friend who really needed the work into a bidding process and let him know what others bid so he’d be able to win the job. (author: Anonymous)

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Current average rating: 7.53
Vote total: 55
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Lied to my boss to protect my friend

This anonymous confession from an Ethics Crisis reader strikes me as one of those things anyone would do for a friend. I think this one is a “white lie” and would immediately forgive the person. How about you? Rate this confession on a scale of 1-10, below.

I sent a friend’s resume to my boss, who responded “I don’t hire people with typos in their resumes!”

I corrected the typo and re-sent it to my boss, apologizing, and saying that I had sent the wrong version from my friend. (author: Anonymous)

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Current average rating: 4.03
Vote total: 59
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We gave mortgages to people who couldn’t pay

I used to work for a sub-prime lender. I would look the other way while our LOs and managers would falsify documents, create them from scratch (including W2s), and lie on loan applications. We did a lot of good for some people (self-employed people, especially), but we really screwed a lot of others. Particularly the people in fixed-rate loans that were desperate for cash; we’d take them from a 6.25% fixed, to a 8.75% ARM w/2 points. I’m really glad to have left that industry (and banking in general), but in light of the current economic crisis I always feel a little guilty.

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Current average rating: 9.19
Vote total: 54
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I set up my boss so I could have his job

I anonymously made allegations through the business practices anonymous 800 # that my boss was hiring vendors based on favors. He was investigated and consequently fired even though none of the allegations were proved. I was promoted to his position after he was fired.

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Current average rating: 8.94
Vote total: 64
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I Lied to Get New Business

In an effort to obtain business from an existing client I claimed we were working with several clients (6) in the same industry. One of the clients I listed is not currently a client but one we have spoken with for two years now. Turns out the person I am selling to knows the CEO of the company I’m talking to. I realize I misrepresented the truth. I lied.

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Current average rating: 7.32
Vote total: 19
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Clueless!

I had received an e-mail from an account manager whom I loathed for her inability to do her job correctly, even at the most simple level. After receiving this ridiculous e-mail from her, I wanted to send it to a peer of mine whom I had vented to to witness firsthand just how bad she really was. I flamed intensely on the forward, and then sent it off — only to realize that I had REPLIED to the e-mail, not forwarded it.

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Current average rating: 5.95
Vote total: 19
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February 28, 2007 permalink Permalink Email this digg it Tags:

If It’s Not There It Didn’t Happen, Right?

I got an email attachment at work that had information about salaries in my department that I knew was proprietary. But I was up for a raise, so I printed it out and then deleted it from my email. Otherwise, it would be backed up that night if left online and then other people in my department would have access to information that gave me a wage negotiating advantage.

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Current average rating: 4.19
Vote total: 16
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