Overzealous Pursuit of Personal Gain, Wealth, and Selfish Interests

People who are obsessed with wealth accumulation, greed, power, status, and other selfish interests often push ethical principles aside in their quest for self gain. Driven by their ambitions, they exhibit few qualms in doing whatever is necessary to achieve their goals.

Heavy Pressures on Company Managers to Meet or Beat Earnings Targets

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When companies find themselves scrambling to achieve ambitious earnings growth and meet quarterly and annual performance expectations of Wall Street analysts and investors, managers often feel enormous pressure to do whatever it takes to sustain the company’s reputation for delivering good financial performance. Once ethical boundaries are crossed in efforts to “meet or beat the numbers,” the threshold for making more extreme ethical compromises becomes lower. Company executives often feel pressured to hit financial performance targets because their compensation depends heavily on the company’s performance. The fundamental problem with a “make the numbers and move on” syndrome is that a company does not really serve its customers or its shareholders by putting top priority on the bottom line.