Why is it so hard to correct someone in upper management who is wrong?

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  1. phoenix_028@yahoo profile image59
    phoenix_028@yahooposted 11 years ago

    I am currently working at a multi global company as an MA but somehow it boggles my mind that this company has no code of ethics, manual of operations, etc. Now, I have a boss that is obviously going way beyond all his efforts to steal or embezzle money from the company. In spite the reports if the HR  and staff the GM always approves his outstation request and cash advances. Here's the deal is being stupid? or blinded by the said sale of the manager when in fact the sale was conducted by the distributors?

    1. sen.sush23 profile image62
      sen.sush23posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Again, as in family so in the corporate structure the power to reward or punish comes with your place in the hierarchical order. Hence it is difficult to bring a senior manager to task for wrong-doings. Certain wrongs that are blatant - like the one you mention- which is a theft of sorts - need only to be waited out to be caught by the higher up officials. However, if the entire ladder is corrupt and lack ethics, it really is difficult to continue to function in the scenario - as ethical bankruptcy would be demotivating, specially to the young and idealistic. However, personally  promoting ethical practices, by setting an example, appreciating the same in your team members and colleagues, would gradually build peer pressure and socially ostracize the mal-practicing/wrong seniors too. However, as you say, since that would be like working against the natural order of things in the corporate hierarchy- yes, it is slow.

      1. Lisa HW profile image61
        Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'd agree, for the most part, with the last part of sens.sush23's comment (starting with "However,..").   I have a "however" to add, though, and that would be, "however..  if it gets so uncomfortable, hopeless, or seemingly impossible to function within a place that's a big cesspool, a person may have to separate from it and go find somewhere else where things are done more ethically and professionally."  I think sometimes it's just best to leave the "cesspool" to the can of worms it is, because at some point things are all going to come crashing down - and there's a whole lot to be said for not be a part of that kind of thing.  hmm

        It probably depends on the percentages of ethical versus non-ethical, but also on the "stature" of the ethical who try to "do the peer pressure"/"role model" kind of thing.  The peer pressure thing can work, but it takes strength and resolve.  It takes the ability to withstand the disapproval, and even hostility, of anyone not as committed to clean things up.  The unethical can be amazingly committed to making sure things remain the status quo; and being unethical and immune to a moral code or even respect for the ethical, if pressure on the unethical and "questionable" becomes too great, they, in turn, dial up the hostilities.

        Under those circumstances at best, the ethical can become ostracized.  At worst, the ethical will become targets of one thing or another.

        So sometimes it's just better to wash one's hands of a cesspool, leave it to its rot and demise, and go to where the air is fresh and clean.  One or two questionable "higher ups" in a place can usually be worked around.  Where rot is the culture, it's not that easy to work around it and just do one's own thing.  Where's it's the overall culture, it's almost inevitable that the crash will come; so there's almost no point whatsoever to hang around and be a casualty of a crash brought on my other's people's misguided and/or inferior value system.

  2. Urbane Chaos profile image90
    Urbane Chaosposted 11 years ago

    A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away..

    I used to work for a company like that.  My boss was - and I'll say this as nice as I can - an idiot.  His boss was even worse, and did things that no company manager should ever do.  I believe he hired idiots to make himself look better, but that's beside the point.  Eventually, I did find a solution ultimately ended both of their careers with the company.

    After doing some research, I created a 21 page Standard Operating Procedural Manual that outlined different things the company should do to make it run more efficient.  In this, I included another 5 page report that outlined different areas of opportunity that should be addressed.  I never mentioned anyone by name, so it was viewed as an unbiased opinion - which was the image that I fostered.

    Next, I forwarded three copies by snail mail; one to the home office, one to the CEO's office, and one to my boss.  I knew I was going to get fired, but by this point, I was tired of it. 

    Well, I didn't get fired, but six or seven months later I got a nice visit from the bigwigs.  They said they received my report, and wanted to thank me for taking the initiative in pointing out ways the company could improve from an employees standpoint.  What I didn't know was that many of the points I mentioned were already being worked on. They also said that the report gave them additional ideas that they wouldn't have thought of.

    To make a long story short, this gave me an open forum to discuss virtually anything I wished with the bigwigs of the company.  The implemented some of the procedures, and since my boss and his boss were such idiots, they quickly fell by the wayside.  Booted, more like it. 

    The bottom line is this: There's ways to get people attention without jeopardizing your own job.  I think we just have to occasionally think outside the box on these things.

    1. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Nice story for this particular thread.  You're right:  Idiots hire idiots.  It may not even be that they want the hired idiots to make them look better, but I think sometimes they plain, old, don't like "non-idiots" because they don't think much of them.

      People are often wrong and know they're wrong.  They just don't care.  Lack of integrity means they aren't interested in making truth, facts, and fairness are out there "for all".  All they care about are their own aims, ego, and interests.

      They don't want their world shaken by having someone point out any holes in their value system or belief, so they do what they can to shut up anyone who tries to shed any truth to the situation.  If they're not protecting their own sense of security when it comes to their own aims/interests (which is sometimes nothing more than their own ego, although more often includes things like money and career reputation), then they're sometimes just arrogant and egotistical and not about to consider that their way is not the right way.

      The best way to spot someone who has a flimsy/corrupt way of operating is to challenge him, see if he's willing to stand by what he says/believes/does by backing it up with provable facts and information; or whether he fires, gets hostile, or otherwise skulks away from honest discussion about improving a situation for everyone - not just them.

      In any case, I like your story.  (Whether it's companies, careers, or reputations, houses of cards will inevitable come tumbling down.  smile  )

      1. Urbane Chaos profile image90
        Urbane Chaosposted 11 years agoin reply to this


        I've noticed, too, that many companies don't hire supervisors based on skill and knowledge, but rather, they base it on how "likable" the person is.  Everybody tries to impress the person that's doing the hiring, and after hired, most continue to impress their boss because they want a raise, better offices, and so on..  The problem is that anyone can walk in and flash a nice smile and through out some "feel-good" vibes, but when it comes down to business, many of these people are just idiots.

        I don't think there's a way to confront them directly.  All they'll do is get upset and defensive.  Then, when you take the issue to their boss, that person then feels like you're attacking them for not making a good hiring call and then that they're not doing their job right.  If they were, then they would have noticed the issue long before.  One person by themselves don't stand much of a chance.

        I wish it wasn't like that, but many times it is.  That's the main reason why I got out of the corporate world - too much backslapping and big-brothering going on for me.

        1. Lisa HW profile image61
          Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I left the corporate world when my premie and eventually third child were born; and did freelance writing back then.  More recently, though, I decided to try to go back to the corporate world, but the corporate world wouldn't have me apparently.  lol  I have no doubt that (besides my being away from it for a long time) one major factor was that I'm incapable of slapping on the big, phony, smile.  It's just not me.  I don't even now how to do it without making it really weird.  lol  The corporate world doesn't like people who can't come across like big extroverts.  Last week I saw an  interview with a guy who hires for some company.  He was asked what was the Number 1 reason he would NOT hire someone.  His quick reply was, "I won't hire an introvert".

          Just tonight my friend was saying how some study showed that the people who make the most money in the corporate world are those who actually have a nasty, aggressive, edge to their personality.  I guess it's the old thing that nice people are viewed as too stupid to be anything but nice.  hmm

          I liked it well enough when I was in it, but that was years ago.  Things have changed, and I find the whole way everything is done and the things that people today see as "positive" as something I don't want to be a part of.  ("So take that, all you corporate-world people who rejected me time after time! "  lol)

  3. TJenkins602 profile image61
    TJenkins602posted 11 years ago

    I'm sorry that you had to go through this. Usually in these cases, the best and only thing you could do would be to bear it as long as you can and leave if it gets too bad. There are some cases where you could actually make things right, but usually it would take a lot of time or a lot of brains.

  4. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 7 years ago

    In the upper echelons of management, depending upon who the person is, he/she may have allies especially if he/she is the corporate favorite.  If he/she is protected by the highest powers that be, it would be fallacious to correct such a person if wrong.  This person and his/her allies can make working life quite infernal for a person who dares correct this particular upper management person.  Also the person who does the correcting will be seen as a troublemaker or a pot stirrer.  In essence, this person is seen as to not to play the corporate game and sooner or later, he/she will ousted by constructive discharge or by outright termination.  In many corporations, it can be quite dangerous to correct a person in upper management positions as such people are oftentimes protected.

    Now, if the upper management person is not favored at all by the highest powers that be, the person who does the correcting may be seen quite positively.  He/she is seen as the brave maverick who others want to be.  This person may in fact be rewarded for correcting the upper management person who is wrong. In fact, he/she may be considered a leadership and perhaps will be groomed for position out of the ranks.


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