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I am junior in a large corporation. I have been raising issues with management about problems with our products that may eventually cause some severe problems down the line - nothing life threatening but would certainly tarnish the reputation of the company and would result in serious financial loses.

My question is this, I have raised the issues with managers who oversee these things but their mentality seems to be its not their problem. They have no plans to fix the problems but that doesn’t sit well with me.

Is it inappropriate for a junior employee to continue escalating issues to higher levels of management until someone decides to fix the problem? Will managers dislike me for doing this even if I have asked them to fix the problem before going elsewhere?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Kate Gregory, Rory Alsop, Michael Grubey, Draken Aug 21 '17 at 8:43

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    Here is a related question that might help you – DarkCygnus Aug 18 '17 at 23:37
  • Are you coming at them with just problems? Or a solution/plan/pathway to improvement? And with a business case? – HorusKol Aug 19 '17 at 0:15
  • Let me guess, is this in the software field ? – Fattie Aug 20 '17 at 12:40
  • @Fattie Yes its software – Tim J Aug 20 '17 at 15:47
  • hi @TimJ new junior programmers often ask this question on here or elsewhere. the simple nature of software is that 99% - 100% of software is absolute garbage. read some of the business analysis - something like 80% of every single dollar spent on software is utterly wasted. your observation that "there are some problems with the software you are working on" is totally ubiquitous, it is like pointing out that the Earth has gravity. – Fattie Aug 20 '17 at 16:11
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My question is this, I have raised the issues with managers who oversee these things but their mentality seems to be its not their problem. They have no plans to fix the problems but that doesn’t sit well with me.

Get over it. What depends (directly) on you depends on you; what does not depend on you, well, does not depend on you. Thinking the latter depends on you only triggers irritation and frustration. Work issues usually fit the latter description. You might raise them and what have you, but moving forward with fixing them doesn't depend on you, so don't get frustrated over them.

Is it inappropriate for a junior employee to continue escalating issues to higher levels of management until someone decides to fix the problem?

It's not inappropriate, but tread wisely. Employees who do that are sometimes called whistleblowers - and get fired for being such - or get sidelined by those whose feet they're stepping onto.

Will managers dislike me for doing this even if I have asked them to fix the problem before going elsewhere?

They might, because you're turning a problem that isn't necessarily their's into their problem.

Basically draw a line somewhere. If it's life threatening, dangerous, business critical, or illegal, then by all means scream and shout if you don't mind potentially losing your job as a result - and update your CV just in case. If it's just minor inefficiencies, then stick to raising issues when you spot them. If nothing happens, well, you did your job and brought it to your manager's attention.

There's really not much you can do in practice in the face of corporate inertia outside of exceptional organizations. Any number of people up the command chain may have a different opinion (and sometimes rightly so, owing to information you're unaware of). If you declare an all out war against your command chain you'll be in for a rough time.

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    An "it's not your problem" mindset is terrible. – Thomas Owens Aug 18 '17 at 23:45
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    "escalating issues to higher levels of management" ... As a complement, I must also say you should be careful here. Going over the heads of those above you is seldom a good idea, as @DenisdeBernardy said, respect the command chain. – DarkCygnus Aug 18 '17 at 23:45
  • @ThomasOwens: Yes, it is in many contexts. But OP is working in a large company where it's rampant. – Denis de Bernardy Aug 18 '17 at 23:46
  • @DenisdeBernardy Ill say this much, the company I work for is huge. It most likely has your home address and personal contact details... the problems I'm talking about are security vulnerabilties that could result in a security breach, – Tim J Aug 18 '17 at 23:51
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    to be honest the whole thing just sounds bizarre, @TimJ. "The product developers are responsible for its security" that doesn't even make sense (in a "huge company"). You simply will have (a whole department) that deals with the issues of transaction security, credit card details storage etc. Simply put what you've noticed in writing and give it to them and leave it at that. – Fattie Aug 20 '17 at 16:19
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I am junior in a large corporation. I have been raising issues with management about problems with our products that may eventually cause some severe problems down the line - nothing life threatening but would certainly tarnish the reputation of the company and would result in serious financial loses.

My question is this, I have raised the issues with managers who oversee these things but their mentality seems to be its not their problem. They have no plans to fix the problems but that doesn’t sit well with me.

You say you are in a "large corporation" and are "going to management". However, you don't say who "management" is? Is it your immediate supervisor? If so, have you considered approaching your senior members of your team, your lead, or your immediate supervisor rather than "going to management".

When you approach these people, I think that the approach in the comments makes the most sense - instead of accusing or pointing out flaws, try to ask why things are the way they are. Hopefully, your seniors will see this as a desire to learn more and you'll come off in a positive light.

Ideally, it would be nice if "management" could explain why they are taking the approach that they are taking. But they have no obligation to invest time explaining company roadmaps or strategic plans, especially with junior employees. You are far more likely to make headway in your team, your immediate supervisor, or if you have one, a mentor.

Is it inappropriate for a junior employee to continue escalating issues to higher levels of management until someone decides to fix the problem? Will managers dislike me for doing this even if I have asked them to fix the problem before going elsewhere?

You have an ethical responsibility to various stakeholders. This includes not only the company and its employees, but also customers, users of your product, and the general public who may be impacted (no matter how indirectly) by the products your company makes.

You first need to take an appropriate and tactful approach for your company. Based on the wording of your question, I'm not sure that you have done that.

Ultimately, if you don't get traction and you continue to feel that this is a problem, you need to make the decision: do you understand the full situation and are you willing to risk your professional reputation by taking information to the appropriate authorities or, in extreme cases, disclosing confidential or protected information to the general public.

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