The claim that “Everyone's doing it” is frequently offered as a reason for engaging in behavior that is widespread but less-than-ideal. This is particularly true in business, where competitors’ conduct often forces hard choices on managers. When is the claim “Everyone's doing it” a morally valid reason for following others’ lead? This discussion proposes and develops five prima facie conditions to identify when the existence of prevalent but otherwise undesirable behavior provides a moral justification for our engaging in such behavior ourselves. The balance of the discussion focuses on testing these conditions by applying them to a series of representative cases in business ethics.
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