Jut read a great post by Dave Berkus on how to teach, think about, and resolve tricky ethical issues in business. In my experience, if you are absolutely and unwaveringly committed to doing the right thing in these kinds of situations, you are more likely to end up embracing what Dave calls a Kobayashi Maru solution, where you allow the necessity of the situation to force you to change the rules or find another larger solution set from which to choose.
I can think of numerous times where a firm push-back lead to a grudging reevaluation of the parameters of the problem by the people claiming a need to cut corners. So often, in fact, that I ended up just adopting a very simple rule. When unsure what to do, just ask yourself what the right thing to do is, and then do that. Greatly simplifies life. Chips will fall where they will fall, but at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing. Good post from a good blog: You Are Watched, Mostly When Decisions Are Tough.
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