AC4’s Peter Coleman and Rob Ferguson in Harvard Business Review: What to Do If Your Boss Asks You to Break the Rules

ColemanTalkAll of us, at some point or another, are asked to break the rules at work.

It may be a small action, like rounding up or down in an accounts ledger, or a small inaction, like looking the other way while others do so. It may be a one-time request, like when one of us was asked to alter some documentation on a patient in a hospital we worked for. Or it may be a norm, like when we were encouraged by the nursing staff at the same hospital to sign in for other employees who were absent. It may be no big thing: hey, rules are made to be broken, right? Or it may be a big thing: think Volkswagen, Enron, and WorldCom.

When asked to break the rules at work, most of us experience conflict. Particularly if we are new to a job, low on the totem pole, highly dependent on the position, or wishing to make a good impression, we face a tough choice. Do we go along to get along or do we resist? How we address such disputes can have serious consequences for our organization and ourselves…

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