The workplace is filled with convenient cover stories for those who would seek to avoid responsibility by pretending that they have taken appropriate action. Among them are:
Role: "I can see how you might assume that task is part of my job but it's not written in my job description."
Delegation: "I gave the assignment to Mary. Is it my fault that she didn't complete it?"
Paperwork: "I sent everyone a memo giving my expectations of their performance. That should have been enough."
Resources: I didn't have enough people and money to do everything and that's just one of several priorities that I had to ignore."
Research: "We didn't act because we didn't have all of the information."
Deadlines: "True, it didn't make sense to act at that point but we had a deadline to meet."
Authority: "No one told me to take initiative."
Widely Accepted Behavior: "Everyone else does it."
Worse Behavior: "My conduct isn't as bad as that of some other employees."
Results: "Who cares about process? We got the results that we wanted."
Trust: "Monitoring performance would have been a sign of distrust."
Loyalty: "My boss told me to do it."
Money: "I can't afford to lose my job."
Litigation: "Sure it's unethical but it will help us to avoid a lawsuit."