Unethical Behaviour

The Impaakt Team

7 min Read Time | August 10th 2021

Key Takeaways


Companies can be linked to types of unethical behaviour, such as monopoly, tax optimisation/heaven, anti-trust etc.


Ensure that your analysis is not an ethical or moral assessment. Be objective, what is the impact of the company's behaviour?


To publish an analysis about a company’s unethical behaviour, you must identify the specific kind of behaviour that took place, along with the scale, scope and irremediability of impact

Sean pollock Ph Yq704ffd A unsplash

What is it?

“Unethical behaviour is an action that falls outside of what is considered morally right or proper for a person, a profession or an industry. Individuals can behave unethically, as can businesses, professionals and politicians.”

Examples of (un)ethical behaviour topics(to differentiate with corruption), include:

- Anti-competitive
- Anti-trust
- Business ethics
- Governance



SDG choice

(other SDGs may apply depending on the impact of the unethical behaviour)

Impact assessment


Before starting the research and writing process, make sure to select the appropriate topic:

- Anti-competitor behavior

The topic covers issues associated with the existence of monopolies, which may include, but are not limited to, excessive prices, poor quality of service, and inefficiencies. It addresses a company’s management of legal and social expectation around monopolistic and anti-competitive practices, including issues related to bargaining power, collusion, price-fixing or manipulation, and protection of patents and intellectual property (IP).

- Bribery (see guide)

The topic addresses the company’s approach to managing bribery issues. This includes sensitivity to business norms and standards as they shift over time, jurisdiction, and culture. It addresses the company’s ability to train employees adequately and implementing policies and procedures to ensure employees are not the perpetrators/beneficiaries of bribery.


In your analysis about a type of corporate unethical behaviour, consider the following analysis flow that is in alignment with the IMP framework:

1. Start by explaining why good governance is crucial, particularly for banks and multinationals that can play a systemic role in the broader economy. A general value of good governance would apply here.

2. Explain how governance failure has led to concrete issues such as monopoly, tax optimisation/heaven, etc.

3. Quantify the negative impact. For example, for tax optimisation, it could be preventing some governments from using tax proceeds for the benefit of society. For monopoly, the negative impact is related to the fact that it limits competition, and therefore, can restrict innovation.

  • An analysis that reports on a company’s unethical behaviour is only acceptable if details are provided about the impact of that type of behaviour(s) and its impact on society or the environment.

  • Make sure in your analysis that you do not make an ethical assessment of the company, but rather an impact assessment. Read our article “Golden Rule #3: Differentiate ethics from impact” if you are unsure about the difference between the two.


Based on the article you've just read, here are some more we think you'd be interested in.

8 Min read


Learn how to correctly analyse this topic.

6 Min read

Step 1: Understand Impact

Learn to assess the different dimensions of impact

5 Min read

Golden Rule #3: Differentiate ethics from impact

Learn how to go beyond ethical assessment.

World Green Background Sustainability small

Let’s take action together

With the right investment companies having a positive impact on the planet are able to flourish. Our community forms part of that mission by measuring their impact.

Join Us