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Ethics are agreed codes of behavior adopted by a group or association. Ethical behavior is being honest, responsible of your acts and how you treat others in all aspects of your life. It respects the dignity, diversity and rights of people. Ethical behavior is applying standards to ones behavior. This essay discusses how ethical behavior will pay off in the long run.
Ethical conduct means that there are standards of morality that individuals should observe and is important for everyone. One obvious reason is that it sets the standards for management, employees and creates a tone for the organization as a whole. 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.
An ethical decision is one which typically involves choosing between what you have agreed not to do and what you find yourself wanting to do. For example, is it ethical to pay a bribe to obtain a business contract? Is it ethical to allow a company to withhold information that might discourage a job candidate from joining the organization? Is it ethical to ask someone to take a job that is not good for their career progress? Is it right to do personal business on company time? It might not be considered ethical for an organization to put the health of its employees at risk, or defraud its shareholders, even if there was no chance that the organization would be found out. These examples highlight why there is a need for maintaining high standards of ethical behavior and moral standards at work place. It is the expected conduct that organizations want their employees to hold while at work and important because every individual's conduct affects the relationships within an organization thus unconstructive on the overall performance of an organization. Most business experts suggest that establishing a code of conduct can help the company to behave ethically.
A codes 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, and how it acts to be in compliance with its professed beliefs. Caring out active reviews of these strategic plans and objectives will ascertain that they are not not practicising unethical acts. 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.
A business that behaves ethically focus their involvement on activities in meeting all responsibilities to employees, customers and suppliers is awarded with a high degree of loyalty, honesty, quality and productivity in the long run. Ethical investments is one way of responding to issues of social responsibility in business decisions and activities and avoiding to be self serving. Ethical investors are essentially concerned with how profit is made and looks to maximise profit at the same time trying to minimise 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. It also aligns the interests of shareholders, when the interests of both parties are focused on the long term health of the company. The proponents of shareholder value take this long term focus for granted, they assume that for its own future well being, a company will want to be responsive to its employees, consumers, and the public, and that this is the best way to realize true shareholder value. Socially responsible factors in areas of public concern include the environment, sustainability, globalization effects for example exploitation, child-labour, social and environmental damage anywhere in the world, corruption, armed conflict and political issues, staff and customers relations, for instance education and training, health and safety, duty of care, etc. It also includes the locals and other impacts on people such as their health and well-being. For example, Dell started recycling of computers at no cost and Shell started to work together with environmental groups. They set a company record by giving back to the society. 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. When employees are valued as individuals and treated with fairness, equality, respect and dignity there is reduced corruption as they take pride in their organisation.
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. Employees are more likely fiercely loyal, hard working and productive. Ethical companies have improved customer service and relationship building, an advantage over their competitors. Research proves 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 organisations 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 because and it reduces the possibility of attracting good new-comers. This increases costs of recruiting new candidates and damage efficiency and performance. Ethical standards also help in protection of company assets, employees that have respect for their organization , tend to respect and protect the assets of that organization.
Many business want employees to behave ethically because such a reputation is good for business which in turn can mean larger profits. For example, the workplace dictates the dressing protocol (the uniform) for employees, which indicate the employees opinion for their organization. Employees are required to conduct themselves with dignity at the workplace. 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. Because many unethical acts are also illegal, a firm that allows workers to engage in unfair practices might be prosecuted. it is noticed that employees not having respect for their organization and co-workers encourage many forms of theft such as personal long distance phone calls on company accounts, padding of labor charges and expense accounts, taking office supplies home. Conversely, employees who are steadfastly ethical avoid practices such as breaking areas and rest rooms, untidy work areas, excessive breaks or sick days from work and improper use of machines and equipment e.g. the photocopier, computer and personal use of company vehicle. In addition, an employee with little self or organizational pride not only causes lost supplies and equipment but can bring the organization to losses in production, time, professionalism, overhead charges, initiative, reputation, attitude, enthusiasm and customer respect. 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.
It is my firm belief that behaving ethically is good for both the individual and the enterprise in the long run apart from setting a border between right and wrong. Ethical behavior means being morally responsible and adhered to accepted behavior in the place we work. Maximum productivity and creativity is achieved when individuals operate regarding the ethical considerations of their position. On the other hand, practicing unethical behavior results in reduced success and diminished effectiveness.
Every community needs a leader to show the way, for motivation and for things to happen in a controlled manner. An ethical leader stands up for what is right and knows what is worth doing, they benefit the individual, the team, the organization, and society as a whole. This essay will discuss the impact on society that leaders can make.
Ethical leaders are those who behave ethically and are concerned of how their decisions have an impact on others. They respect each other, are honest, trustworthy, avoid corruption and violence, have a fair play and practice all acts of decency, a basis for human civilization. Ethical leaders work with social and emotional intelligence and are a source of human well-being and happiness. Such leaders base their behavior on moral grounds, respecting the rights of people and treating everyone in the society equally. They are honest, trustworthy, fair and just and show the way by practicing what they preach. Ethical leader therefore play an important role due to their quality of being people oriented. They focus on the needs of the people and do no not fulfill their self interest at the expense of others. This characteristic creates a relationship between the followers and leaders and inspires the people to be committed and work towards accomplishing a common goal. This is why the distribution of ethical leaders is important throughout the society for good, happy and healthy relationships between humankind and productivity measures improve in every way.Â
Good ethics means good business. "Non-corporation with the evil is as much a duty as is co-operation with good" - Mahatma Gandhi. Ethical leaders influence citizens to act with compassion, sympathy and noblest spirit towards others. If these values are honored by the society, it will benefit them in many ways. However, if these values are broken it will bring negative impact that will not only affect the violator but also the innocent people. The negative impact leads to lack of cooperation, faith and rise in corruption, crime, pollution and social unrest amongst the society members. Factories have long been found to pour untreated waste into rivers, poisoning fish and causing offensive smells. The same goes for smoking factory chimneys, and everyone accepts the desirability of that sort of control.
Ethical commitment is important to get rid of these behaviours to defend the right to spoil other people's enjoyment of life. This is accomplished by having ethical leaders in the business and society as a whole to set limits and minimise the amount of negative behaviours and controls the damage to life and environment. For example, in 2000 Christine Loh the chief executive of Civic Exchange, (non-profit public policy) was the prime mover of the issues of pollution, climate change and corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong. Other examples of ethical leaders include Chris Harrop and Bill Clinton. Chris Harrop the marketing director of Marshalls, the UK stone company reduced child labour in India for the quarrying sandstone. Bill Clinton the former US president played a key role in 2007 in pushing companies and governments to come up with innovative solutions for tackling the problem climate change and other areas such as HIV/Aids.
Today businesses are expected to have good ethical values and act socially responsible as an example of ethical behavior. A social responsibility also develops a good image to the company.Â In enhancing social responsibility it is important for organizations to employ good and best workers with individual sets of ethics. When individuals act ethically they work with energy and pride bringing maximum productivity and creativity. On the other hand, behaving unethically individuals engage in deception, thus there is diminished effectiveness and reduced success. Research also shows that destructive effects occur when the leaders or employees of a company behave unethically. This is because sometimes employees are unethical as they feel that they can gain from it, or that they think they can they can justify what they are doing. If employees see other colleagues not being penalized for unethical behavior, then they can feel that they can escape it to. Some employees can make a poor choice and feel the need to make more choices to cover it up. However, once bad decisions are made, they start to get worse until the employee gets caught. Ethical behavior should be modeled at the top level management, so that employees also ensure ethical standards are maintained. Organizations can aslo facilitate good ethical behaviors by not punishing employees when they come forward with problems but should be allowed to communicate problems. Companies show social responsibility when they go beyond what is optional, and intend to create a benefit for others besides themselves. They focus on giving back to the society. Some examples of socially responsible behavior are raising money for research on diseases, raising money for needy people, sending workers to do voluntary work within the community and promoting recycling.
Every society therefore needs leaders who take personal responsibility for their decisions. People want to know if they can trust their leaders and many long for the times when it was easy to see for the difference between good and bad. Ethical leaders ensure to avoid serious consequences on the well being of others by exercising the necessary discipline required as members of society. They promote right actions and act to inspire that establishes the performance of individuals and the culture as a whole.Â If the people in the society practice integrity, fairness, decency and enthusiasm, they will be empowered to work with their best performance and creativity. They contribute to the success of the society and influence the choices made by individuals and businesses in carrying out day-to-day activities. Secondly, organization's prosper when leaders take responsibility and ensure that works are performed ethically. Without ethical leaders the world would not have been a peaceful place to live in.