Poll: Rewarding Ethical Behavior?

Last Updated Apr 24, 2008 4:21 PM EDT

On Tuesday, I mentioned a white paper that outlined six steps to an ethical business culture, and took issue with the fact that one of these steps involved rewarding employees who behaved ethically. But after mulling it over some more - and a comment from my BNet colleague Geoffrey James arguing that the term "ethical business" has become something of an oxymoron - I'm rethinking whether this is so cut-and-dry.

I think that giving companies awards for ethical behavior is a good thing. So is it the same for the individual? My gut feeling says that ethical behavior on the individual level should be so standard as to be considered part of any job. But is that realistic in the cut-throat business world, where the drive to get ahead leads many into grey territory? Do we need constant validation for doing the right thing, or is the punishment for doing the wrong thing enough?[poll id=41]

Have an ethical dilemma you'd like to see in a poll? Email wherestheline (at) gmail.com

  • William Baker

    William Baker is a freelance writer living in Cambridge, MA. His work has appeared in Popular Science, the Boston Globe Magazine, the New York Daily News, Boston Magazine, The Weekly Dig and a bunch of other places (including Field & Stream, though he doesn't hunt and can't really fish). He is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, where he writes the weekly column, "Meeting the Minds." He holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is at work on his first book.