The Not-so-ethical By-stander

Johnson, in a book on workplace ethics, states:
“Assuming the role of ethical change agent also means identifying and dispelling misunderstandings or myths that serve as barriers to ethical transformations. I call the first of these myths ‘There’s nothing to it.'"

Nothing to it? Is that so?

Jennings says,
“A 1999 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that of those employees who saw something illegal or unethical at work, only 66 percent would say something about it. In company surveys done in 2005 and 2006, we find that about 50 percent of employees will report illegal or unethical conduct. Of those who would say nothing, nearly all of them (96 percent) indicated that the reason for their inaction was that they did not want to be called “not a team player.” Cultures of fear and silence nurture the team-player concept, borrowing the buy-in and strong hold that comes from groupthink and the inability, as Solomon Asch’s studies on social conformity pressure concluded, of most of us to speak up when we see something wrong if those around us either do not see the problem of have chosen to remain silent. Even the most honorable people are submissive and subdued in a culture of fear and silence."

We are going to discuss by-standers at length because we believe that this is a major contributor to the ethical violations that occur on the reservation each day.