Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 265–279 | Cite as

Ethical Hazards: A Motive, Means, and Opportunity Approach to Curbing Corporate Unethical Behavior

  • Shripad G. PendseEmail author


Scandals in companies such as Enron have been a source of great concern in the last decade. The events that led to a global financial crisis in 2008 have heightened this concern. How does one account for executive behaviors that led to such a crisis? This article argues that a conjunction of motive, means, and opportunity creates ‘an ethical hazard’ making questionable executive decisions more probable. It then suggests that corporate unethical behavior can be minimized by creating a process to identify and remove such ethical hazards, and by appointing an ‘ethical hazards marshal.’


Corporate ethics Incentives Ethical hazards Corporate scandals Financial crisis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management DepartmentSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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