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An employee suicide and corporate culture

Tom Fox | August 15, 2016

What does it say about an organization when the pressure to meet sales quotas is so great that it drives its top employees to commit suicide? While that question may raise many ethical issues for consideration, to even have to ask the basic question seems to indicate a company that not only values making its numbers over doing business ethically, but even more than the well-being of its employees.

This question came from reading a piece in the New York Times about the company Abbot Laboratories in India and the suicide of one of its employee’s Ashish Awasthi, who had won a top salesman award in 2015. He drove himself in front of a train. A note was found in his pocket which read, “I’m going to commit suicide because I can’t meet my company’s sales targets and my company is pressuring me.” That is about as damning an accusation as an...

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