While there are companies whose codes of ethics state that mere appearance of unethical behavior by employees is morally unacceptable, this so-called appearance standard has hardly received any attention in the business ethics literature. Using corporate integrity theory, this article explores the criteria that may explain how mere appearances of unethical behavior can arise (i.e., the presence of conflicts of interests, the entanglement of these interests, a reputation for lack of integrity, and deviant outcomes) and those that may make such appearances morally unacceptable (i.e., foreseeability, avoidability, and seriousness). The article proposes remedies for preventing and resolving instances when mere appearance of unethical behavior is morally unacceptable.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/beer.12195, hdl.handle.net/1765/111514
Journal Business Ethics
Citation
Kaptein, S.P. (2018). The appearance standard: Criteria and remedies for when a mere appearance of unethical behavior is morally unacceptable. Business Ethics. doi:10.1111/beer.12195