Over the past few years the corporate world including the start-up world has been seeing a series of financial irregularities reported – many confirmed, many alleged. These have involved executive leadership, entrepreneurs and of course the junior most employees. This is certainly a time to ponder.
For one there is diversity – it has nothing to do with public or private enterprise, senior or junior employees, owners or managers. Everyone seems to be afflicted by this malady. While it is easy to identify individuals, punish them if we can and frame tighter policies and hope that we have solved the problem, the issues to me are deeper.
At one level, greed has psychological connotations – there is a possible connection between certain personality disorders and greed. At another level, it is sociological. Does the larger society we live in, the times we live in, the pressures and shifting value systems and symbols of “what we celebrate” fuel such actions?
Does the popular western paradigm of celebrating success only through financial measure have something to do with this? Does the design of work and facelessness and anonymity that modern job design offers, have something to do with this? Does the action of organizations to apply “values” selectively, have something to do with this – what Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner call “particularism”.
In my view ownership for this pervasive value shift lies with all of us – just like keeping the planet green does.