To day or not to day #56: The manager needs autonomy but also support in following the right path. An ethical organization recognizes that its managers are still and only on the way. How do we ensure that the probability of immoral behavior of managers decreases? The Kantian philosophy offers help. The supplement from Kantian perspective on thinking about the integrity of organizations looks very different than you would expect from a pessimist who talks about a radical desire for evil. You'll expect a sermon about personal responsibility and hell and damnation for those who are unable to take their responsibility. Kant gives that sermon, but also provides comfort and protection.
From his perspective, we are generally too optimistic about our autonomy, allowing the integrity policy to fail. There should be much more attention to the fact that, by definition, the presence of power and competition in organizations are stronger than outside. In particular these phenomena enforce the desire for evil and are an ideal excuse for self-deceiver (“I had to!”). Without support, the manager has no chance.
Source: Het Financieele Dagblad, Weekend Essay on Saturday by Wim Dubbink, professor of business ethics at the Tilburg University, 8 June 2013