Posted by: B. Scott Anderson | December 2, 2013

What should you do when an unethical situation arises?

One section of the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics was particularly interesting.

In one area of the Code, the idea of avoiding deceptive practices came under the heading of “disclosure of information.” There have incidents of public relations or marketing employees of companies being involved in astroturfing or even deleting threads or comments made by external audiences on company websites. Clearly, all companies want to limit negative press and promote positive press, but when these deceptive practices are put into place by manager or executives above your position, what tactics can be taken to not only point out that deceptive practices are taking place, but stop them?

When there are unethical actions that take place in organizations, how can employees weave through the precarious positions they are put in — in terms of working relationships with co-workers — when they attempt quell these actions? It is not hard to imagine that if you are the one to go against a plan that has already been put in place, your working relationships and, quite possibly your long-term employment status, may become in serious jeopardy. It might be easy to say that quitting is the only option when unethical practices are expected from employees, but depending on one’s home or financial situation, that’s not always the easiest solution.

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