If Shakespeare was alive today, he would already have penned a tragedy reflecting the lack of ethics as continuously reflected in procurement activities world-wide.
“To take or not to take — that is the question. If I get discovered, I might suffer slings and arrows, however I might have amassed an outrageous fortune. There may be a sea of troubles it may cause, yet I can always (with lawyers) oppose and thereby end them!”
I have often had people come to me and ask how to proceed when a decision “path” is somewhat grey. I always ask them “How do you think this would play as a headline in a newspaper?” I always see a shocked look and they say, “Well, that would be taken out of context!”
The reality is no one asks for guidance on a potential ethical issue, unless their gut is already saying this shouldn’t be done.