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Ethical behavior is morally accepted as being "good" and "right" in a particular situation. The society-at-large is always demanding high ethical and moral standards from organizations. Unethical behavior is always seen as a virus working on the society and eating it up. In a business organization, the top level managers have a big part to play when it comes to ethical issues. How they react when it comes to ethical dilemmas makes a big difference as to how the other employees of that organization will face the same situation. A big example is what Johnson & Johnson Company executives did when the Tylenol poisoning took place. They pulled out all the stocks out of the market even thou it cost them millions of dollars, because the management knew it was the ethical thing to do. It uplifted their image amongst its customer base rather than downgrading it since the customers could see that the company had their best interests at heart. That particular reaction set a big example for other organizations throughout the world to follow.
When it comes to ethical behavior in the long run, I believe it will pay off for any organization. In today's intense business environment it's more important than ever to have strong ethical programs in place. In a survey conducted by the ethics resource centre on more than 4,000 employees, one third had witnessed ethical misconduct in the past year (Flynn, 1995).
Ethical standards depict behaviors morally accepted as good and right as opposed to bad or wrong in a particular setting it is particularly crucial for the business for a number of reasons. For example, murder and robbery are not only illegal but are universally regarded as wrong, while dishonesty , while not necessarily illegal, is usually thought to be immoral. They are created and adopted by people who are interested primarily in ensuring there are guidelines for behavior for the group members. For example, doctors and lawyers have ethical codes of practice which they sear to uphold as part of their professional practice.
Ethics in the society carries a lot of value, so I believe that ethical behavior is what all working professionals should aim to have. However it's not just the ethical attributes that the employees and organizations should have, but also the behavior they put forward with regards to those ethical issues is also important. To build a good career one should live there life by rules of ethics in order to safeguard themselves and also society as a whole.
Most business experts suggest that establishing a code of conduct can help the company to behave ethically. A code of conduct is a formal document stating the principles and the ethical rules it expects the employees to follow in the organization. Ethical standards protect the business from scandals and prevent them in the future. Ethical statements imply the employees, business associates, and the larger community a framework of the company's operating principles (rules and regulations) which needs to be followed, why the company exists, what the company believes in, and how it goes about to comply with its professed beliefs. In addition, reviewing the standard operating procedures and performance measurements will ensure the business owners and managers that it is well structured and does not encourage unethical behavior. Studies has shown that organizations are now increasingly take account of ethical considerations, there has been a shift from traditional profit and free market business approach to ethical approach, in favor of consumer interests.
Practicing ethical behavior can develop the business to great heights. High ethical behaviors will set high standards and put the work practices of the organization to high levels. It will develop a discipline which will help your business to succeed. It will also build teamwork amongst employees. They will show respect for the organization, its culture and top level management. It will build trust and confidence among colleagues.
Also organizations which practice ethical standards can attract good short and long term investment. Investors will definitely see it more viable to associate itself which businesses who put ethical issues to high regards hence uplifting the investors image in the society and the business environment. Most investors believe that it is important for companies to consider ethical and social issues alongside financial issues in order for them to be sustainable and remain competitive in the long run. Ethical investors are essentially concerned with how profit is made and looks to maximize profit at the same time trying to minimize and avoid negative social effects. On the positive side, the public will begin to recognize and to honor individual companies for their contributions to solving most obdurate problems. This puts companies in a very strong situation since all the stake holders like shareholders, government, employees, suppliers and local communities benefit
Ethical investments is one way of responding to issues of social responsibility in business decisions and activities and avoiding being self serving. Socially responsible factors in areas of public concern include the environment, sustainability, and globalization. Behaving ethically also improves the quality of work life and enhances the role of every employer in creating an environment where employee pride blossoms and theft losses disappear. There is reduced corruption when employees are treated with fairness and are valued as individuals, as they take pride in their organization. Positive results are achieved when employees are given a basis for trust and respect to live by. If employees believe all are held to similar high standards, they likely will feel better about themselves, their colleagues, their organization and behave ethically when dealing with customers and business associates.
Research over the years have proved that consumers are used to buying products from companies that have public recognition, a company record or being promoted. Enhancing customer loyalty to the brand is probably the single most powerful incentive for convincing companies to adopt ethics as a way of life.
Another advantage of behaving ethically is that it promotes better staff retention and attraction; good organizations cannot function without good people. Ethical organizations have increased commitment by employees as good employees want to work with responsible and ethical employers. When a company fails to be a good employer they lose good staff and it reduces the possibility of attracting good new-comers.
Many business want employees to behave ethically because such a reputation is good for business which in turn can mean larger profits. How one behaves in the workplace helps them in building a good reputation and praises over the years to come.
Similarly, encouraging employees to act ethically can save money by reducing employee theft, down time and lawsuits. It is noticed that that when employees don't show respect for the company and colleagues, it encourage many forms of theft such unnecessary phone calls on company account and taking office supplies home.
It is important that employees have a clear understanding of their organization's ethical standards and a feeling of management support for acting within those standards. Teaching ethics to an employee is not always effective. Management must set examples by their personal alignment with ethical standards and principles. Thus, Managers have to always keep in mind that leading by example is the first step in developing a culture of ethical behavior in the organization.
As the world business platform is growing rapidly, more business leaders and are now waking up to the reality of social responsibility and good organizational ethics. The opinion of the society is re-shaping expectations and standards on how leaders should perform with regards to the general public. Injustice around the world is becoming more visible and less acceptable and behavior of leaders is becoming more transparent every day.
Leaders now have real incentives when they do the right thing, but they do have disincentives for doing things that are unacceptable in today's world. Leaders show ethical behaviors when they do what is morally right, and good, and when they help to elevate followers' moral awareness. Ethical leaders must generate the right conditions and organizational culture for the development of ethical behavior amongst society members.
Every community has leaders to look after its interests and protects its rights. However in today's world, many people do not have faith in leaders and hold them responsible for many of their problems.
Ethical leaders should be people-oriented and always aware of how their decisions affect others. They serve the society with compassionate interests. This becomes the only way ethical leaders are able to motivate followers and put needs and interest of group before their own.
When these leaders act ethically than the people in the society will follow them. The respect and trust the people put in their leaders will lead them to follow the same values that the leaders do. The leaders have a big responsibility on their shoulders when it comes to guiding the society to follow these ethical principles. They act as role models for the society. What they do in their day to day life becomes the corner stone for the followers.
Leaders also play an important role in social responsibility.Â The keys issues involved are the health and safety of every employee. Great leadership includes establishing health and safety as a value and affirming that safety by allowing employees adequate time to prepare for evacuation.
Organization's blossom when leaders take responsibility to ensure that works are performed ethically. Ethical behavior should start at the top level management, so that employees also ensure ethical standards are maintained.
However if leaders want to be more effective than they need to have good employees working for them in the first place. These employees should be able to carry on the leaders values and follow the same principles when the leader is not around. They should be people who can be trusted enough to be given such a big responsibility.
They should be able to promote right actions to inspire the performance of individuals and the culture as a whole.Â They Leaders contribute to the success of the society and influence the choices made by the members and businesses in carrying out day-to-day activities.
To conclude, every society needs leaders who take personal responsibility for their decisions. People should be able to trust their leaders and see the difference between good and bad.