Within the Duty to Follow a Procedural Rule, there is a block that asks, “Did the social benefit of the breach exceed the risk?” You may ask, how does that actually work within an organizational context? Well, if you look at that block, there is a small triangle in the bottom right hand corner that says “burden of production falls on employee.” So that’s where the employee will make their case, but then it’s the organization that answers “yes” or “no” to that question. So something happens and employee comes up and makes a case that the social benefit exceeded the risk. That’s where the organization is going to consider alignment with our values and our mission as an organization, and they are going to answer “yes” or “no.” One thing to consider is that if you answer “yes” to that question, you are essentially drawing a line in the sand and saying you are okay with this breach now, and you are going to be okay with this breach for this exact same reason in the future. When you consider the social benefit versus the risk, if you say yes now, you will say yes to that same weight in the future. However, we invite you to consider, if you are not okay with the breach happening again in the future – so you go to that block where it says “Did the social benefit of the breach exceed the risk?” and you answer “no,” you still have the ability within the next block to say “Do I get where this person was coming from?” Did this person in this moment have a good but mistaken belief that the violation was insignificant or justified? If the answer is “yes” to that question, what you’re looking at is At-Risk Behavior. So again, with the social benefit question – it’s where the employee will make their case, and then the imposer will answer “yes” or “no” to that question in alignment with their organization’s values and mission.
Ellen McDermott, Advisor at Outcome Engenuity, discusses this frequently asked question in the video below.