The culture of respect and civility that an organization has embodied

It is intriguing that several pressing organizational problems have been found to rotate around the culture of the organization within which behavior takes place. The prevalence of sexual and gender harassment appears to depend a great deal on the culture of respect and civility that an organization has embodied – or has failed to embody. The ways in which accidents occur in large industrial systems seems to depend in part on the culture of safety that has been established within the organization. And the incidence of corrupt and dishonest practices within businesses seems to be influenced by the culture of integrity that the organization has managed to create. In each instance experience seems to demonstrate that “good” culture leads to less socially harmful behavior, while “bad” culture leads to more such behavior.

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Here is a similar take on the topic the “Al Capone” theory, people who break one set of norms with impunity usually break other rules:

Re the “Al Capone” theory:

Back in the depths of the Cold War ('79, '80, something like that) I blundered into the hotel room of one of my engineers and found him “in flagrante” with a lady not his wife. Times being what they were, I went and reported it to my security guy, an old hand in the spook business. “Hm,” he said, “If he’s cheating on his wife, I wonder who else he’s cheating on.” Investigation turned up nothing, but I got rid of the cheater anyway.



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