Public Administration Project Topics

An Investigation of the Factors That Encourage Unethical Practices by Organizational Administrators in Nigeria





Almost every day, reports of Nigerian organizational executives engaging in various sorts of unethical behavior appear in the top news, whether locally or globally. Organizations in Nigeria have been plagued by unethical business practices, resulting in a high percentage of unethical judgments made by executives, which have a negative impact on both the organization and society (Igbaekemen, Abbah, & Geidam, 2014). Leadership is a complicated interaction between the society and the individuals that is formed by social institutions (Day, 2000). The way a leader interacts with his surroundings (in this case, his company) has a big influence on how he leads (Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm, & McKee, 2014). The variables that motivate or tempt leaders to engage in unethical actions while possessing ethical leadership abilities and knowledge remain unknown. Day et al. (2014) evaluated twenty-five years of theoretical and empirical research on leadership development, emphasizing on the distinction and confusion between leaders’ development and leadership development. Day et al. (2014) examined the long history of leadership theory and research in relation to leadership development, which was defined broadly to cover the development of leaders. Finally, Day et al. urged practitioners and academics to think of leadership development as a process that complements rather than replaces the growth of individual leaders. This study by Day et al. is particularly relevant to my research since it focused on the failure of leaders rather than the organization, and it focused on leadership development rather than the organization.

Unethical activities hurt and block economic progress, according to Igbaekemen et al. (2014), Rotimi, Obasaju, Lawal, and Ise (2013). Rotimi et al. (2013), on the other hand, did not examine probable reasons that could motivate executives in Nigerian firms to engage in unethical behavior. It is critical to identify elements inside the organization that encourage or entice its leaders to act unethically before seeking a remedy to eliminate unethical activities in the company by its leaders. In a developing country like Nigeria, inadequate rules or a lack of system oversight might create a climate conducive to unethical behavior. Raimi, Suara, and Fadipe (2013) looked at the years of largely negative impact of unethical activities on Nigeria’s economic growth, concentrating on the impact of organizational failure in sustaining ethical norms. Accounting was chosen by Raimi et al. (2013) because the essence of accounting remains the same independent of one’s professional affiliation or geographic location. Accountants are also known for their honesty, trustworthiness, professional transparency, openness, integrity, prudence, and responsibility, however these researchers discovered that many Nigerian accountants engaged in unethical acts. Ratley (2016) stated that when it comes to committing professional fraud and abuse, there is coordination among organizational executives as well as with other stakeholders outside the company. The Ratley results indicated that the average business loses 5% of its yearly income to fraud and unethical activities, and the degree of that negative impact was examined, but no variables that could motivate organization executives to behave unethically were discussed. Kingshott and Dincer (2008) took a different approach, claiming that one’s psychological contract (PC) had a role in unethical behavior by government employees. The unwritten mutual belief, perception, and compulsory expectations regarding each other’s tasks and the mannerism with which they are discharged are referred to as the PC (Rousseau, 1989).

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Corruption has slowly crept into organizations over the years, it may not be evident, however these corrupt or unethical practices have a way of demeaning the organizations staff and way of executing day to day business.


The primary aim of this study is to investigate the factors that encourage unethical practices by organizational administrators in Nigeria. Thus the following objectives;


1. To determine the various unethical practices by organizational administrators.

2. To determine the effects of these unethical practices on staff in the organization.

3. To investigate the factors that encourage unethical practices by organizational administrators in Nigeria.


The following questions guide this study;

1. What are the various unethical practices by organizational administrators?

2. What are the effects of these unethical practices on staff in the organization?

3. What are the factors that encourage unethical practices by organizational administrators in Nigeria?


This study will be significant as it will bring to the fore an awareness on the various unethical practices by organizational administrators. It will be beneficial for organizations as it will cause them to look inward and checkmate these unethical practices. It will also be significant to other researchers as it will create an avenue for them to use this material to further other studies.


This study will only cover the factors that encourage unethical practices of organizational administrators and its effects on the staff of the organization. It will also look into the various forms of unethical practices that are practiced by organizational administrators.


During the course of this research, the researcher was faced with financial constraints and insufficient time to delve deeper into this study.


1. UNETHICAL PRACTICES: Simply refers to not conforming to a high moral standard. In this case, unethical business practices that are immoral and portray unethical behavior.

2. ORGANIZATIONAL ADMINISTRATORS:  Simply refers to the body of people who manage the affairs of an organization.



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