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Grade your ethics

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in Workplace Communication

Three-quarters of employees observed violations of the law or company standards in the previous 12 months, according to a June 2000 survey by KPMG, an international consulting firm.

In this climate, it pays to review your ethics. Answer these questions:
1. If my boss asked me to lie to cover up his mistake, I would:
A. Quit.
B. Lie.
C. Say it made me uncomfortable.
D. Do it this time, but refuse if it became a pattern.

2. If a key software vendor who was also a personal friend offered me a free laptop, I would:
A. Turn it down and report the vendor to our purchasing officer.
B. Accept the gift if it was personal rather than business-related.
C. Ask my supervisor if I should accept it.
D. Accept the gift but tell the vendor he will get no special consideration.

There are no right answers, but patterns reveal your ethical style. A. answers show you’re a conformist who tends to apply rigid rules. B. signifies you’re a negotiator who makes up rules as you go. C. answers indicate that you navigate with a sound moral compass. D. responses suggest that you dodge ethical questions.

Source: On the Job Ethics Test by Mark Pastin, Council of Ethical Organizations, Alexandria, Va.

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