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to moderate concern for the integrity of the manager. Bottom to top
decision-making (subordinates choosing managers) was made with a
high-level concern for managerial integrity and only moderate concern
for technical competence. Subordinates worried that a manager lacking in
integrity would mistreat them, while upper management worried that
high levels of integrity might interfere with getting the job done. The
authors write, “If the effectiveness of managers is a function of how they
treat their subordinates and whether they will be treated fairly, that pro-
mises to them will be kept, that their welfare will be considered, that
they will be told the truth—then conventional top-down methods of
selection will systematically under-select the best potential performers”
( Cook and Emler, 1999, p. 439 ).
Menzel (1999) suggests that an important criticism of American manage-
ment is that from CEOs, to supervisors, to low-level bureaucrats, many
workers in the public and private non-profit sectors have developed a “mor-
ally mute” position where they fail to act in ways that help organizations
and, instead, stay silent when it comes to issues that trouble organizations,
particularly those involving the unethical behavior of higher-ups. In describ-
ing this atmosphere of moral muteness, Mitchell (1999, p. 16) writes,
Not much impartial scientific method is to be discerned in our administrative prac-
tices. The poisonous atmosphere of city government, the crooked secrets of state
administration, the confusion, sinecurism, and corruption ever and again discov-
ered in the bureau at Washington forbid us to believe that any clear conceptions
[of public management] are as yet very widely current in the United States.
While Menzel believes that precious little has been done to make
managers more aware of ethical behavior, he acknowledges that legislation
to enforce morally positive behavior has produced dubious results. There
is, according to Menzel, even the suggestion that by stating in law or pol-
icies punishable offenses, that this has allowed managers to define ethics as
behaviors and practices that do not break the law.
Pfeffer (2005) worries that what is taught in schools with management
specializations tends to create a reduced level of ethical behavior in students.
Williams, Barrett, and Brabston (2000) report that “The link between an orga-
nization's size and illegal activity becomes stronger as the percentage of top
management team members possessing an MBA degree ... rises” (p. 706).
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