Being ethical is a personal choice because the decision-making process involves evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with moral and ethical principles. Moreover, people arrive at ethical decisions by perceiving and eliminating unethical options before selecting the best alternative. Nonetheless, there is a wide-ranging debate about ethics within the banking industry with some arguing the lack of ethics is due to rogue trades while others view it as a consequence of the entire industry being rogue. This paper will review the Adoboli case to develop an in-depth understanding of the individual factors set out in models of ethical decision-making. The analysis will help explain how these and other factors may have caused Adoboli to make unethical decisions. The primary argument is that although the underlying organization culture and industry practices in banking can have a significant influence on an employees’ decision-making process, being unethical is a personal choice reinforced by individual factors that pertain to character, moral development, and psychological influences. The first section provides a brief overview of the individual factors in Adoboli case while the subsequent ones will critically review these factors as set out in models of ethical decision-making to explaining his actions.

Case Overview

Adoboli got his job as an analyst at UBS Group AG shortly after graduating. However, his career was short-lived and was soon branded as one of the most sophisticated fraudsters by the City of London Police (Crane and Matten, 2016, p.158). Although the media portrayed Adoboli as a lone trader who had committed fraud to enrich himself, a critical analysis reveals that he acted unethically at his job and may have not been to profit directly from the unauthorized trades. Nonetheless, Adoboli disregarded the individual factors set out in models of ethical decision-making and ended up accumulating $2.3 billion in losses for UBS due to his unethical decisions to engage in unauthorized trading (Crane and Matten, 2016, p. 158). Therefore, although Adoboli stood to gain indirectly from the higher bonus paid when the trades paid off, in reality, it was a simple case of choosing the unethical alternative to leverage illegal avenues to try and make his employer more money.

Adoboli’s unethical conduct earned him the third position in the all-time Rogue Trader Top 10. However, some critics such as Davis (2016, p. 23) argue that the lack of ethics in banking is reinforced by the rogue nature of the entire industry. Adoboli’s case partly supports Davis’s view because he hardly fits the stereotype of a fraud mastermind that the mainstream media portrays him to be. Instead, Adoboli was a young and ambitious trader who was revered as polite and loyal to his employer. Moreover, his landlord and neighbors spoke highly of him (Crane and Matten, 2016, p. 158). The fact that Adoboli had attended a private school and graduated from a respectable university (the University of Nottingham) suggests that he was cultured and not a criminal. Moreover, Jérôme Kerviel, who is currently at the top of the Rogue Trader Top list, notes that most employers in the banking industry are more likely to tacitly endorse such unethical trades as long as they are making profits but turn on the individuals responsible when losses are made. Therefore, it is likely that the lack of ethics in banking is reinforced by the rogue nature of the entire industry and not the personal choices made by employees such as Adoboli. Additionally, it was not the banks that blew the whistle on the unauthorized trades but rather an individual trader suggesting a level of complicity.

It is imperative to explore both sides of the wide-ranging debate by examining the alternative viewpoint in Adoboli’s case, which perceives the lack of ethics as being reinforced by individual factors that pertain to his character, moral development, and psychological influences rather than the moral and ethical lapses in the entire industry. This is partly because, at the time of the trading, he was the director of the bank’s Global Synthetic Equities Trading team based in London. Therefore, despite being in a position of power, the individual factors that pertain to Adoboli’s character, moral development and psychological influences did not prompt him to make an ethical decision. Consequently, the moral and ethical culture in the banking industry cannot be entirely responsible for the $ 2 billion dollars UBS rogue trader scandal because it was a result of Adoboli’s individual’s moral weakness that untimely determined his unethical actions as the bank’s trading director.

Individual Factors

This section will critically review the individual factors in Adoboli’s case as set out in models of ethical decision-making to explain his actions. Ferrell and Fraedrich (2015, p. 22) developed a model to help identify the factors that cause professionals to act unethically (Figure 1). The author’s model of ethical decision making holds that people choose the ethical alternative based on individual and organizational factors as well as the intensity of the ethical issue. The model is significant in Adoboli’s case because it not only explores the individual factors but also other factors that may be at play such as organizational issues and the nature of the decision.

Figure 1. Shows Ferrell’s and Fraedrich’s models of ethical decision-making

Source: (FM Link, 2018)

Crane and Matten (2016, p. 148) further state that the individual factors set out in Ferrell’s and Fraedrich’s model of ethical decision-making helps explain why individuals such as Adoboli’s with exemplary jobs sometimes behave unethically. According to the model, there are three primary individual factors that reinforced Adoboli’s unethical personal choices, which include character, moral development, and psychological influences.


Character is defined as the combination of traits such as moral force, integrity, and empathy, which distinguish one’s nature from others. It is one of the main individual factors because it guides a person’s moral strength. The critical review conducted on Adoboli’s pattern of actions over time indicates that although he had a strong character, he lacked the moral strength necessary to make consistent ethical decisions. For example, Adoboli’s decision to engage in unauthorized trading was done over a long period of time and involved billions of dollars suggesting he was cognizant of his actions. Moreover, Adoboli had taken the necessary steps to conceal his actions rather than seek counsel from his superiors and find a solution to the problem. While the case review suggests Adoboli was viewed as an honest and respectful ambitious man who upholds the rights of others, this may not be the case when no one is watching because none of his neighbours, friends, and landlord knew about his duplicitous actions at the bank. Therefore, although the underlying organization culture and industry practices may have had a significant influence on Adoboli’s decision-making process, being unethical was a personal choice reinforced by his character.

Whether perceived as good or bad, Adoboli’s moral character is an individual factor which he took to his workplace every day. Crane and Matten (2016, p. 148) note that such factors have significant ethical implications on the people’s choices, especially within an organization. Therefore, although Adoboli’s moral character was perceived as good by those who were close to him, he exhibited a lack of ethical behavior, which was detrimental to his employer and career. Being caring, respectful, and mindful of other people is not enough to make an ethical decision-making, but rather moral character is essential in ensuring one takes the best ethical alternative. Therefore, Adoboli’s actions were reinforced by his lack of moral character.

Psychological Influences

The psychological influences include the individual factors that elicit one to take action and satisfy an inherent human need. These factors can have a significant impact on the set of moral principles that guide people’s ethical behavior. Psychological influences are often shaped by cultural practices, social norms, and religion among others and serve as a compass to direct how an individual should conduct themselves. Moreover, psychological influences help people make the decisions necessary to fulfil their obligations to their employer and society. Therefore, an employee’s perception towards his or her employer can have a significant impact on his decision-making process.

There are two main psychological influences that played a crucial role in Adoboli’s unethical decision making which include conformity and commitment. Firstly, conformity refers to compliance with the standards, rules, and norms of doing things. Therefore, employees who conform to the workplace are more likely to exhibit behaviors that are in accordance with the organization’s accepted conventions. However, in today’s highly globalized and competitive economy, employees no longer strive to conform, but strive to not be seen as different and valuable than the majority of the workforce. An effective strategy is one that guarantees employees within the banking industry promotions and pay rises but also places them at a high risk of making unethical decisions in an attempt to please their employer. For example, Adoboli’s decision to engage in unauthorized trading was not emboldened by the desire to become rich but rather by the need to try and make his employer more money.

Moreover, employees in the banking industry are often victims of conformity because they are more likely to try to fit in rather than change the current systems and ways of doing things. Therefore, if engaging in unauthorized trading, filing false expense reports, or cutting corners among others was how most of UBS’ employees operated, the pressure on Adoboli to conform may have been great. According to the Moodys rating agency, there was an on-going weakness in UBS’ risk management with the then C.E.O Oswald Grübel advocating for an increase in risk-taking (Crane and Matten, 2016, p. 158). As a result, Adoboli who was responsible for the bank’s Global Synthetic Equities Trading team might not have felt restricted as a trader.

Secondly, commitment is closely linked to conformity because organizational members are required to remain devoted to the set goals often at the expense of their needs. Therefore, Adoboli may have been made to conform and take the risk of engaging in unauthorized trading since the top management at UBS believed its employee would be out of step with the bank’s goals if they failed to embrace a culture of high-risk taking.

Moral Development

Finally, moral development is an essential individual factor that involves the sophistication that a person has when trying to discern whether an action is morally and ethically right or not. According to Bandura’s (2014, p. 68) theory of moral development, people undergo a series of stages throughout their life with each reinforcing their ability to reason about morally good and bad decisions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Shows Bandura’s theory of moral development

Source: (Bandura, 2014, p. 68)

Figure 2 show that people are more capable of understanding the broader impacts of their decisions when their level of thinking is highly developed. Adoboli joined UBS when he was fresh from campus and rose among the ranks to become a team leader. Moreover, he was young, which places him in the transitioning phases between the early and middle stages in the theory of moral development (Figure 2). Therefore, Adoboli’s reasoning involved judging between right and wrong based solely on how his co-workers and employer would respond rather than how it affects him or the society at large. As a result, his unethical actions lead to negative consequences for himself, the society, as well as his employer.


While the underlying organization culture and industry practices in banking are some of the other factors that had a significant influence on Adoboli’s decision-making process, being unethical was his personal choice, which was reinforced by individual factors that pertain to character, moral development, and psychological influences. These factors are set out in various models of ethical decision-making and they help explain why Adoboli decided to engage in unethical and unauthorized trading. Ferrell’s and Fraedrich’s model indicate that a weak moral character, psychological influences related to conformity and commitment to Adoboli’s employer, as well as a lack of moral development may have been the primary reasons for his actions.

Reference List

Bandura, A., 2014. Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. In Handbook of moral behavior and development. Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

Crane, A. and Matten, D., 2016. Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Davis, E.P., 2016. Ethics and banking; comparing an Economics and a Christian perspective. [online] Available at: <https://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/13909> [Accessed 1 November 2018].  

Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J., 2015. Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Education.

FM Link, 2018. An ethical decision-making model. Fmlink. Available at: <https://fmlink.com/articles/ethical-decision-making-model/>[Accessed 1 November 2018].  


Tired of Guidelines or Lack Time to Work on Your Paper, Get Original Custom Research Paper Writing Service

Thecustomwriting.com research paper writing service has saved thousands of students from stressful college life. Writing a custom research paper may be challenging, considering it has to be plagiarism-free. And it is better not to do your project than to hand in plagiarized work or hurriedly complete it if you do not have time.

Academic integrity is so vital that you may get a suspension or an expulsion because of a copy-pasted work. Writing a custom research paper requires research and writing skills to produce original content. Here are essential things to know about getting the best and legit assignments help websites.

Perfection is vital

Every website will promise you that they produce high-quality work. However, you put your money for your end-of-semester paper only to get a pass. You must learn how to identify the best writing service before committing.

Thecustomwriting.com produces quality content at all times. Rather than a quality promise, quality assurance is what you should consider before hiring a research writer. Best writing services are reliable. You don't want to partner with a cheap research paper writing service that will deliver poorly written essays hours after the due date.

Quality writers are part of the best writing service. A company that has untrained writers will fail you. Before committing, ensure that the people who will write your paper are academicians and professionals. It would help if you had a writer who will be prompt to respond to your questions and follow instructions. Writers who do not fear to ask for clarification where they don't understand are the best for you.

Beware of Scammers Posing to Provide Custom Research Paper Writing Service

It may take time and effort to find a legit custom research paper writing service. Most of the websites claiming to offer writing service trades your paper with another student. For example, if you order your paper today to submit it next week, you may find that another student has already handed over the same document.

Your money is gone, you have no paper to submit, and the deadline is in two hours. You can only sit and cook up some stories for your lecturer. Otherwise, wait for a penalty or suspension.

Others will give you half-baked papers in the name of cheap essays. Apart from reselling your paper, some companies will offer you copy-pasted work. If you don't have tools such as Turnitin or Copyscape to check plagiarism, you may find yourself in the dean's office explaining why you copied your work from the internet word-to-word.

We offer one of the best research paper writing services in the USA and the U.K.

You won’t regret choosing Thecustomwriting.com to handle your research. Your project is an essential part of your academic work. It determines whether you will move on to the next semester or if your name will appear on the graduation list. Do not gamble your education by hiring any cheap essay writing website you find on the internet. Look for a custom research paper writing service reviews before commit.

Avoid scandals by hiring Thecustomwriting.com. Count yourself lucky if you are reading this article. You are in the right direction in finding the writing service for your paper. Though many websites could have frustrated you, Thecustomwriting.com is committed to providing you with reliable service for your paper.

Thecustomwriting.com offers quality services at affordable prices, and they deliver your work on time. They have native English writers that write your paper using the correct language.

Plagiarism Free Custom Research Paper Writing Service

Our writers understand the seriousness of writing plagiarized papers. Every institution has regulations that govern how a research project is conducted. Universities and colleges take plagiarism as gross misconduct. The best writing services are those that will deliver plagiarism-free papers.

Plagiarism involves, among others, copying a published work and delivering it to your lecturer as your own without acknowledging the sources.

Another way your work can be plagiarized is the failure to include the source of your content in a research paper. If you are using someone's thought, you need to include a reference and in-text citations to show that you are using another scholars' worker.

It's a gross mistake to write a five-page paper without a single source unless the paper's nature does not require you to rely on any sources. Here are some tips our writers use to avoid accidental plagiarism:

  • Cite direct quotes, statistics, and paraphrased content.
  • Ensure that all in-text citations are included in the biography and vice versa.
  • Directly quoting not more than 2% of the paper, if quoting is necessary (some papers are exempted from this rule, especially literature).
  • Stick to high authority, scholarly sources. Our writers will hardly paraphrase content from third party blogs and other questionable sites.
  • Consider Buying A Custom Research Paper from Thecustomwriting.Com

    Consider hiring an expert essay writer if you are not sure about your capabilities. Referencing and citations can be challenging, especially if you try to do it for the first time. It's even harder when your lecturer asks you to use a hard referencing style. For example, Harvard requires you to include page numbers, dates, and the author's name in the text. If you have several papers with a strict deadline, you should consider hiring a custom research paper writing service to help you work on your essays.

    However, ensure the website you want to hire offers legit writing service. A good website should at least charge for its services. You will find many websites willing to provide you with free services. No one is that idle to sit and write a paper for free. Sites that provide free or cheap services hooks you when you least expect.

    Also, consider the price of writing a paper. Though cheap essays are of low quality, other sites may have inflated prices for their rate, making you needlessly break your bank.

    Thecustomwriting.com understands the need for a fair and reasonable price for most students. We know that most students need service, but they do not have enough resources. We, therefore, offer quality service that you can afford.

    Benefits of using custom research paper writing service

    If this is your first time considering using a custom writing service, the first thing is to know why taking such an action is the best. Choosing Thecustomwriting.com ensures professional writers handle your paper. Letting a qualified person handle your project can boost your grade. You cannot afford to fail in the upcoming end-of-semester project. In any case, your progress to the next level will be determined by how well you perform in your essay.

    Thecustomwriting.com ensures the timely delivery of your work. The good thing about legit essay writers is that they can write your essay within the shortest time possible, with one page taking up to one hour at most. It doesn't matter what time you want your work done: Thecustomwriting.com is always ready for a task.

    We will give you a paper written explicitly for you. We will ensure that your paper is not delivered to someone else.

    Come to think of this; if five of your classmates decide to order an essay for the same class, five writers will be assigned to work on different papers instead of paraphrasing one paper and sending it to five of you.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Do subject specialist writers handle my research paper?

    It's our responsibility to ensure that someone from your field handles your paper. Our company has enough writers from every discipline. We provide only a research writer qualified in your subject to handle your paper. After placing an order, the first step is to screen the question and requirement and match it with the best writer. The less qualified writer has a college diploma, and they only handle high school papers. All other writers are bachelor, masters, and PhD degree holders.

    Are your researchers qualified enough to know the core of the research?

    We commit to quality content. We understand that failure to deliver quality service will result in the loss of clients. Therefore, we only hire qualified writers who have an in-depth understanding of your paper. Whether you want quantitative research done using Chi-square or qualitative research, Thecustomwriting.com’s writers will comfortably handle any discipline or type of paper. Besides, we offer research paper service from college to PhD. Therefore, we cannot afford to have unqualified writers. Our researchers take every instruction keenly when writing your essay.

    Should I worry about order placement?

    There is nothing to worry about placing your order. Our platform has a simple, user-friendly interface that enables you to navigate to different functionalities with ease. We offer quality custom research paper writing services; thus, you don't have to worry about getting value for your money. Besides, you can track your order's progress. Our system progressively send you email notifications regarding every stage of your orders' progress; thus, you don't even have to log in to track down your order. You will also see the progress on the dashboard when you log in. Moreover, our support team will contact you when the writer needs any clarification.

    Can I have direct communication with the writer after the order placement?

    Our system is designed in such a way that it allows you to communicate with your writer directly. We understand the need to clarify things yourself to the writer. Furthermore, our support team is available 24 hours to ensure that urgent matters are communicated swiftly with the writer.

    Will I get any discount on recommendation?

    The answer is yes. We value your efforts and trust to recommend us to your friends. We will offer you a discount on your next order if a client mentions your email when placing an order.

    What guarantees should customers look for?

    We have a written list of what we guarantee our clients in our terms. We guarantee the quality, confidentiality, free revision, original content, and timely delivery. We also guarantee money-back if, in the unlikely event, you are not happy with the quality of the paper.

    What makes a reliable writing company?

    It's easy to know a reputable company. First, they are transparent about their services. They offer multiple methods of communication and have qualified writers. Most importantly, they deliver your work on time, deliver original content, and honour what they have guaranteed.

    Why should customers not opt for cheap essay writing services?

    Cheap essay services will only waste your time. They have foreign writers who will produce plagiarized content full of grammar errors. You will waste your precious time waiting for a paper that you can't give your lecturer.

    Is buying essays online safe?

    It's safe to buy your essay if you take the right precaution. Before putting your money on a strange site, explore the website to see whether you will get customer reviews. They will help you make the right decision.

    How do I hire someone to write an essay for me?

    These are common questions with most clients. It's effortless to get a professional writer. The first step is to identify a custom research paper writing service that is legit and sign up. After that, they will guide you on how to place your order and get a writer. Some companies will allow you to choose a writer for yourself or choose a writer for you.

    What types of writing services can I order online?

    Our website offers a variety of legit essay services. We provide any academic assistance, including research projects, assignments, and admission letters. Visit our website to see what each service entails.

    What benefits and additional features do Thecustomwriting.com services offer?

    We offer several free services to our customers. We offer free revision, a discount on your first order, and free pages such as references and cover pages. Also, we have a quality control department that ensures that all papers are of high quality before delivering them to you.

    Do websites maintain your privacy? Are orders secured?

    Your privacy is our top priority. You will be recognized by your I.D. assigned to you after signup instead of your name. The only person who can access your account is you or anyone else you give your password. Your payment is through a third party. Therefore, your personal information will never reach our site without your consent.

    What are the pros of ordering from custom writing services?

    You get quality papers. We have writers with decades of experience delivering quality papers worth the client's money and much more. We understand your power to influence our progress. Your paper will be delivered on time and written by professional writers.

    Hire a professional writer

    Now that you know what to look for when considering the custom research paper writing services, it's time to try us. Sign up and get a discount on your first order. You don't have to worry about quality, timely delivery, and price. We know they are essential to you.

    Calculate your order
    Pages (275 words)
    Standard price: $0.00
    Client Reviews
    Our Guarantees
    100% Confidentiality
    Information about customers is confidential and never disclosed to third parties.
    Original Writing
    We complete all papers from scratch. You can get a plagiarism report.
    Timely Delivery
    No missed deadlines – 97% of assignments are completed in time.
    Money Back
    If you're confident that a writer didn't follow your order details, ask for a refund.

    Calculate the price of your order

    You will get a personal manager and a discount.
    We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
    Total price:
    Power up Your Academic Success with the
    Team of Professionals. We’ve Got Your Back.
    Power up Your Study Success with Experts We’ve Got Your Back.