Unfortunately our data-driven management systems reward companies that pass the tests illegitimately, until they are finally caught. Like performance-enhanced athletes, the companies who skirt regulatory scrutiny can prosper and dominate.
Where does the ethic start? Who among us can cast the first stone, so to speak?
Having been involved in software quality, I know that there are conditions upon which the same product can be shown to pass, or to fail the test. The scope and breadth of the test is as important as the result, along with the conditions and potential interactions. Seasoned testers can break a system with very little effort, often by incorporating a few known failure modes into the equation. For example, adding a name with accents, hyphens, and apostrophes to a database operating concurrently with anti-virus software could cause a performance issue leading to data corruption.
I also know that having set up multiple product demonstrations for sales presentations, the end-to-end display of the features is not always reflective of actual operating conditions. User choices and options are often reduced to show only those working features, and results pages are often hard-coded to show the expected outcome, rather than take the chance of an error message or interrupted function appearing. This is best demonstrated in the movie Tucker, where the prototype automobile was being fixed on the stage immediately prior to its display.
Here is an administrative example related to the new ASQ budgeting format. The revenues and costs are structured to distinguish between General and Administrative (G&A) and Member Value (MV), with the target that ASQ Member Units should have 70% of their budget emphasizing Member Value items (known as the PAR Ration - Performance Awards and Recognition).