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Teleopathy is the unbalanced pursuit of purpose by either individuals or organizations. This mind-set or malaise has been described as an occupational hazard of business life and the key stimulus to which business ethics is a response. Its three principal symptoms are (1) fixation, (2) rationalization, and (3) detachment (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 Teleopathy Manifested in Three Symptoms: Fixation, Rationalization, and Detachment

Unlike determination, perseverance, and tenacity, which are often considered positive traits of both individuals and organized groups, fixation is usually regarded as a negative trait, akin to obsession, addiction, and dependency. This negative trait involves the domination of a person’s consciousness (or an organization’s culture) by a persistent goal, objective, or desire—out of proportion to its importance in the larger scheme of things. Fixation ...

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