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Now ethical behavior in an organization is one of the most important pillars for the organization to stand tall and to grow up with the needs of the market. A good indicator of high levels of corporate, and hence, employee ethics is how well employees protect their company's ethical standards and the employees who follow the ethical values of their organization are more efficient and effective in their work and make the workplace more productive.
In my opinion, I believe that that use of ethical behavior can pay off more when it's a matter of long run. We all know that an organization should encourage the ethical behavior and should discourage the unethical behavior. It's obvious that, ethical behavior may "cost" the organization at that time but it will pay the company back after sometime. At some instant company can think that it's not very important to follow the ethical standards is not very important at all times . For example, it might be the loss of sales when a multinational firm refuses to pay a bribe to secure business in a particular country. Certainly, individuals might be reinforced for behaving unethically (particularly if they do not get caught). In a similar fashion, an organization might seem to gain from unethical actions. For example, a purchasing agent for a large corporation might be bribed to purchase all needed office supplies from a particular supplier. However, such gains are often short-term rather than long-term in nature. In the long run, an organization cannot operate if its prevailing culture and values are not congruent with those of society. This is just as true as the observation that, in the long run, an organization cannot survive unless it produces goods and services that society wants and needs. Thus an organizational culture that promotes ethical behavior is not only more compatible with prevailing cultural values, but, in fact, makes good sense. (Sims, 1992)
Moreover the ethical behavior of the leader in organization is the key part which motivates the whole organization to follow the ethical standards. The conduct and ethical behavior of an association's leaders set the tone for the conduct and ethical behavior of the association's staff, suppliers and members. For this reason, their conduct and ethical behavior must be beyond reproach and free of any impropriety. Honesty, integrity, respect, fairness and good faith are essential traits of ethical behavior. The association executive is responsible for creating an environment that fosters the highest level of professional, ethical and accountable behavior for both staff and volunteers as a cornerstone of the organization's culture. In this environment, standards of conduct and ethical behavior that exceed legal requirements are the norm.
Ethical business practices include assuring that the highest legal and moral standards are observed in your relationships with the people in your business community. This includes the most important person in your business, your customer. Short term profit at the cost of losing a customer is long term death for your business.
A reputation for ethical decisions builds trust in your business among business associates and suppliers. Strong supplier relationships are critical to a successful business. Consider the problems you might have if you could not supply what the customer needs...at the time that they need it.
The entrepreneur is the role model for employees. If your behavior includes lying to customers, taking money out of the cash register, or taking home some of the inventory or supplies, you cannot be surprised if your employees follow your lead. Your family members may see the business as their own and take things that really belong to the business. Employees may see this as being dishonest, or as a conflict with their needs for a raise in pay.
The community expects your business to operate in an ethical manner that enhances the image of the community as a whole. If you are located in a mall, for example, your code of ethics will help or hinder customer traffic for the other businesses too. A reputation for telling customers anything they want to hear, regardless of the truth, eventually hurts your business and other businesses around you. It usually isn't illegal to lie to customers, but it isn't good business. (PACE).
Attention to the ethical behavior in an organization can bring significant long term benefits and some short term benefits as well, to them. Organizations with strong code of ethics can create strong, clear and long term customer and employee's satisfaction and loyalty. Observing ethical practices now, can avoid later litigation costs. Organization in business for long term seeks that it pays to treat all of their constituent honesty, fairly and integrity.
Furthermore a company that cares for the values of their people and customers more than their profit or final turnover's and is viewed as operating with integrity and honesty is most likely considered as more commercially successful and responsible.
It has been proved that tangible benefits result from greater attention to various aspects of ethical behavior. Good corporate citizenship improves employee relations and results in human resource benefits. The factors identified include more effective recruitment; higher retention; and better morale, loyalty, motivation, and productivity.
Customer relationships are also improved. Factors identified include increases in customer loyalty, enhancement of brand image, and tiebreaker effects for customer purchasing decisions. Empirical evidence suggests that customers' sensitivity to corporate citizenship continues to gain momentum. Good corporate citizenship also enhances overall business performance, particularly improved competitive advantage, higher financial returns, and better reputation. (Verschoor, 2001)
Ethics have tremendous benefits that can improve the workplace in an organization. Some of the benefits are listed below:-
Attention to business ethics has substantially improved society.
Ethical behavior help maintain a moral course in turbulent times.
Ethical behavior cultivates strong teamwork and productivity.
Ethical behavior support employee growth and meaning.
Ethical behavior is an insurance policy -- they help ensure that policies are legal.
Ethical behavior helps avoid criminal acts "of omission" and can lower fines.
Ethical behavior help manage values associated with quality management, strategic planning and diversity management -- this benefit needs far more attention.
Ethical behavior promotes a strong public image.
Managing ethical values in the workplace legitimizes managerial actions, strengthens the coherence and balance of the organization's culture, improves trust in relationships between individuals and groups, supports greater consistency in standards and qualities of products, and cultivates greater sensitivity to the impact of the enterprise's values and messages.
Last - and most -- formal attention to ethics in the workplace is the right thing to do.
In the nutshell, after reading the whole essay I came to the conclusion that ethical behavior in an organization or in a community can pay off for a long run because it is the only tool that can lead a company to higher level customer satisfaction, productive employees and good profits in their product. It has always been noticed that customer always prefer to buy a product of a company whose ethical values are high and have a good moral status in society .Customer do not prefer the companies with low ethical values . In conclusion, even though ethical problems in organizations continue to greatly concern society, organizations, and individuals, the potential impact that organizational culture can have on ethical behavior has not really been explored (Sims, 1992). The challenge of ethical behavior must be met by organizations if they are truly concerned about survival and competitiveness. What is needed in today's complicated times is for more organizations to step forward and operate with strong, positive, and ethical cultures. Organizations have to ensure that their employees know how to deal with ethical issues in their everyday work lives. As a result, when the ethical climate is clear and positive, everyone will know what is expected of them when inevitable ethical dilemmas occur. This can give employees the confidence to be on the lookout for unethical behavior and act with the understanding that what they are doing is considered correct and will be supported by top management and the entire organization.
Q 2:- "Within the business context, business are expected to have good ethical values and act socially responsible. The problem is that the ethics of a business is mixture of individual sets of ethics. This is why it is important to have good individuals as employees. It is also equally important that when you go to work somewhere that you feel like you share the values of those you work with. Ethics is not just talking about the right thing. It is doing what is right in every decision that is made."
Based on the above observation discuss the impact on society that ethical leaders can make.
A 2:- We all know that leaders are made to impact the society and it's obvious that when an ethical leader makes a decision it will definitely impact the society. To further discuss this concept I will explain what ethical leadership is and who ethical leader is. "Ethical leadership" means leadership that is involved in leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others. "As leaders are by nature in a position of social power, ethical leadership focuses on how leaders use their social power in the decisions they make, actions they engage in and ways they influence others". Leaders who are ethical demonstrate a level of integrity that is important for stimulating a sense of leader trustworthiness, which is important for followers to accept the vision of the leader. These are critical and direct components to leading ethically. The character and integrity of the leader provide the basis for personal characteristics that direct a leader's ethical beliefs, values, and decisions. Individual values and beliefs impact the ethical decisions of leaders. (Wikipedia, 2010). And the leaders who make their decision keeping ethical values of all around them are called as ethical behavior. the ethical behavior of leaders have received significant interest in recent years due to the plethora of ethical scandals in corporations. Leaders are obligated to set a moral example for organizational members and to determine those organizational activities which may be detrimental to the values of society in general (Aronson, 2001). Leaders exhibit ethical behaviors when they are doing what is morally right, just, and good, and when they help to elevate followers' moral awareness and moral self-actualization. Indeed, ethical leadership encompasses more than the fostering of ethical behaviors.
The ethical behaviors of leaders have a impact on their society and it can be proved by taking some examples from our history and from the present as well. To say that ethical leadership always entails influence is like saying that all snow is white. It's true but the inference doesn't work the other way. That is, not all white things are snow. Similarly, although all ethical leaders influence, there are lots of types of influence that don't count as leadership. Here are a few examples:
- Intimidating or forcing someone to do something.
- Bribing someone to do your bidding.
- Paying for things you want someone to do for you.
- Teaching a student to behave better in a classroom.
- Encouraging your children to eat their vegetables.
The last two examples are not leadership because they have nothing to do with a group striving to achieve a goal. Teaching students and encouraging children to eat vegetables is for their own interest, not for the good of a larger group. (McCrimmon, 2008).
To demonstrate how ethical leaders leave their footprints on society, the best way is to lead by examples; I have listed some of the most influencing leaders from the history and everybody know what impact they have on society in past and what impact they have on us(present) ,we can feel it and see it in all the things happening around us.
Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the United States who led the country to victory during the American Civil War and contributed profoundly towards ending the widespread slavery in America. Before being elected to the Presidency; Lincoln was a successful lawyer, an Illinois state legislator and a member of the United States House of Representatives.
Adolf Hitler, an Austrian-born politician, was the leader of the Nazi Party and a notorious dictator of Germany. Before coming to power as a dictator, he was the Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Head of State serving from 1934 to 1945. As a leader of the Nazi party, Hitler promoted nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-communism through establishing a Fascist dictatorship in Germany and espoused a foreign policy of world conquest.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi was a major political and spiritual leader of India who led the country in the non-cooperation movement in 1922 and Salt march in 1930 and later in Quit India movement in 1942 during its struggle for independence. Known as Beloved "Baapu" in India, Mahatma Gandhi adopted the policy of mass disobedience and non-violent resistance as weapons against the British Rule in India and followed a principle of Ahimsa (total Non-Violence)
Nelson Mandela was the most significant black leader who stood against racism and apartheid in South Africa, while many in the world were silent. He dreamt of a democratic and free society in which people live together in harmony with equal opportunities. His words, ''the struggle is my life'', give a glimpse of the determination he fought with against apartheid and racism in South Africa, the goal he had set almost four decades back.
George Washington was the first President of the United States who led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War against the Kingdom of Great Britain and saved the nation from the threat of collapse during its most crucial time. The commander-in-chief of the American Revolution Army, Washington became the President of the world's most powerful country in 1789 following the end of war with The Great Britain in 1783. As President, George Washington played a leading role in drafting the American Constitution in 1787 and extended his contribution by building a strong central government, establishing a national bank system and implementing an effective tax system.
After looking on above all great leaders , think about them what impact they putted on the world in their time and what impact they still have on the world now (we are still following their footprints), no matter where you are and where you from the answer is very clear and transparent .
In the nutshell, I can say that ethical leaders made a massive impact on society and they can move the society to the direction they want and that's obviously good and beneficial for the society. And it's also human nature that we mostly choose to follow then to be followed and those who choose to be followed ,becomes leaders.