Part of ethical behavior is accepting responsibility. This is critical in the modern workplace because employees are drawn from a society that, as a rule, shuns responsibility— which is why ours has become such a litigious society.
People want to blame others for their own shortcomings and failures. Students graduate from high school unable to read and immediately file lawsuits against the school board as if they had no part in their own failure. A burglar trips on a skateboard after robbing a house, sues the homeowner, and wins! Inmates upset over the quality of food take their guards hostage and burn down an entire wing of the prison, saying their rights have been violated. Modern society has evolved into one that focuses on rights but ignores the responsibilities that must accompany those rights.
Passing blame has become commonplace. Employees often refer to their employer as “they” rather than “we.” Go to a fast-food restaurant or a retail store and complain to a salesclerk. Chances are good that the salesclerk will pass on the blame to an unseen “they.” This is not ethical behavior. In a total quality setting, people are responsible for their actions and accountable for their performance. Accepting responsibility helps build trust, integrity, and all the other elements of ethics that are so important in a total quality environment.
Source: Goetsch David L., Davis Stanley B. (2016), Quality Management for organizational excellence introduction to total Quality, Pearson; 8th edition.