Company policy. Two words that can sometimes do the organization more harm than good. And this example perfectly proves it. Recently, Reddit user /u/jaxmagicman made a post on r/MaliciousCompliance, talking about the time he got food poisoning. The company /u/jaxmagicman works for requires employees to bring a doctor’s note when they’re sick and refuses to make any exceptions. Even if the worker will miss more days than they would otherwise…
Image credits: francisblack (not the actual photo)
When talking with senior managers of a large company, Liezl Groenewald from Ethics Institute heard one of them ask whether it is okay to bend the rules from time to time if it is for the greater good of the company.
“Performance-based judgment calls are managerial decisions to bend the rules because, in doing so, company or individual performance will be enhanced,” Groenewald wrote. “This is typically related to rewarding employees for good performance by making exceptions to established rules.”
“Faulty rules refer to ambiguous, out-dated or simply wrong rules in the eyes of the manager.”
Moreover, a study by the Academy of Management Executives (USA) revealed that 70% of executives bend company rules. When asked why they do so, they mentioned three rationales for rule-bending, namely performance–based judgement calls, faulty rules and socially embedded norms.
“Organisations need to build a culture where the emphasis is on following the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. A code of ethics should thus not be predominantly rules-based, but rather a combination of rules- and values-based.”