Academic ethics, business ethics, general everyday societal ethics - many of the principles at play in all of these call for the same type of behavior. They boil down to what many call morals - honesty, integrity, respect for others, et cetera. Things like not passing off as your own/stealing colleagues' work, fairly evaluating people, not spreading false rumors, you know - basic qualities we are supposed to have learned at a young age.
So what happens in a place that selectively adheres those ethics, depending on the person/people involved? How about a supervisor using a professional's ideas and passing them off as their own while keeping it a secret from the originator? This seems like a clear violation of core academic ethics, so what to do? Recently a case like this was brought to my attention and it got me thinking. The person involved is really struggling to meet her objectives of working on collaborative projects, and is repeatedly met with this obstacle. My initial response - call a spade a spade and bring it up as the serious ethical issue it is. As my new friends from Harvard taught me, check your ego at the door about it being your grand idea, and look at it as unethical and contrary to the best interest of the group. Ah, but then the person made a great point - in the political structure at play, it might very well mean losing her job. So - again, what to do? Do you sacrifice your job for the greater good? Will it make a difference if you do? Sure there is something (and something really important) to taking the high road, but I understand the thought of being jobless...and income-less. There are not a lot of good jobs out there. I kind of hate losing my idealism (and the fact that I'm torn about joblessness versus doing the right thing seems to me a loss of some of my doe-eyed idealism), but gosh - the rent is due every month.
We all know there are a lot of organizations like this out there. They cycle through good people like there is a revolving door. But should those places just be left alone to slip further and further downhill? As a librarian, aren't we about the greater good, idealism, good citizenship and all that jazz? If it makes a huge impact on your life, but makes no impact on the organization - do you play ball or just say no? So many questions, so few answers! In all honesty - I couldn't give a lick of good advice on this one, but I would love some.