5 signs your hospital could be on its way to an ethics scandal

While many people believe ethics scandals are the result of a single bad apple, there are actually organizational trends that can indicate if a company is on its way to an ethics scandal, according to the Harvard Business Review.

Here are five culture characteristics that could be signs an organization is at risk of cultivating ethics scandals.

1. Urgency and fear. Employees often say corruption, fraud and other lapses of integrity are forced by feeling they needed to take drastic measures to "survive" within their organization. Leaders who create a fearful workplace can be creating circumstances that lead to scandal.

2. Isolation. Teams isolated from their headquarters run the risk of falling under the control of an authoritarian leader who creates the kind of overly-competitive environment ripe for ethical problems.

3. Fragmentation and lack of accountability. A complex organizational structure that removes leaders from decision-making processes and gives them plausible deniability often enables employees and leaders alike to avoid accountability for isolated actions.

4. Success and impunity. If an organization values success so highly they do not question the methods by which it is achieved, teams will begin to take drastic and possibly unethical measures to obtain it.

5. In-group language. If companies use coded language and euphemisms, they are often hiding behavior that might be perceived as unethical.

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