The word Ethics means character, pattern of behavior of an individual or a group or self-discipline. Therefore, the accepted code of conduct or values within the society is referred as ethics. Business ethics is a natural part of any business, which it must adhere to on daily basis. The issues revolving around business ethics are diverse. It includes the interaction of the business with the external world and comes down to how the business deals with customers on a one on one basis. Organizations can have a bad reputation or a good one. All businesses are interested in making money and increasing their profits. However, the way a business conducts itself in this process brings up the issue of ethical behavior.
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Each business should therefore strive to have a good reputation. What factors are there to be considered that makes a business to be considered ethical or unethical. We must analyze ethical principals and moral problems associated with businesses. The business conduct must begin with the individuals in the organization and extend to the entire organization. Ethical issues thus should reflect the relations between profit maximization and non-economic issues. Therefore, as businesses strive to make maximum profits they should also look into some rules that govern society at large or ethical customs. Businesses should be responsible for business activities that go beyond profit making.
Any organization is faced with many ethical responsibilities. Strategies like developing code of conduct within an organization can assist in making ethical decisions in the workplace. These are rules that govern the behavior of individuals in a business set up (Cyprus, 2010). This would ensure that each person would play by the rules. Unfair actions hinder good relationships between workers and the management. Ethical problems exist at all levels within the business. Breaches of ethics will normally damage the reputation of an organization. At the workplace, I would first analyze the existing ethical problems and in order to solve them, I would enforce the given code of conduct. How an individual behaves towards another is a personal choice. One may decide to be friendly the other may not.
One may decide to lie while another can tell the truth. A student can work hard in order to pass his exams while another may choose to cheat. All these are issues touching on personal ethics. Since the actions of individuals within an organization is what contributes to the general business ethics. It is vital for the organization to come up with a general code of conduct to be followed by all employees. Anyway, there is a challenge that exists when the code of conduct is applied as a tool of ensuring ethical standards is maintained. The code of ethics cannot be a very reliable guide to an individual's moral obligation. When laying down the code, it is impossible to anticipate all moral situations that may be encountered. A set of laws that govern all behavior is also impossible to compile due to the diversity of human behavior. Therefore, even when I will apply the code of conduct at the workplace, I will be aware of these limitations.
It is true that variables such as organization climate affect individuals' ethical behavior. Therefore, I would study how the prevailing climate in the organization affects employees' ethical behavior. I would try to change the ethical culture towards the positive. Culture consists of the deeper believes, assumptions and values that employees within an organization have. Each individual has his culture and he expresses it through actions or the activities that he engages in. Within an organization set up, perceptions of the norms of employees demonstrate the prevailing climate. Research shows that businesses with positive ethical climate experience less ethical problems.
The same businesses were more successful in solving or coping with the problems. Thus, if I can be successful in creating strong ethical climate, it would cause a change in ethical culture and the prevailing climate in the workplace. The management must also develop a set of norms in order to advance good ethical behavior within the organization. If the organization can develop a uniform code of ethics and create a way of monitoring and enforcing the rules, it would be a good tool in steering its employees towards accepted ethical behavior. Employees would be in a better position in solving ethical dilemmas. These are the two strategies will help me be successful in business. Each employee should abide by the code of conduct and creation of ethical culture, which is positive. Research shows that successful organizations have clear laid down code of ethics that all employees are expected to abide by and a strong ethical culture.
My beliefs and values have changed by learning these concepts. I used to think that in order for a business or an organization to be successful it must engage in unscrupulous or unfair practices. Research shows that one of the reasons why many businesses fail is their engagement in unfair practices. This is because after operating for some time, their customers become aware that they have been cheated. Hence, they stop purchasing its products or services. A business that is employing unfair practices can operate for sometime but eventually, it will collapse. The ethical standards of an organization can be used to predict how long it will survive. If they fall, the business is also likely to fall (Shephard & Wimbush, 1984). Product content deception, bribery of officials, illegal acts and other business misconduct will cause a negative reputation of the organization. It is therefore important for all businesses to have proper ethical standards. If I employ sound ethics in my business, it has high chances of being successful.
The public today is growing more informed about the operations of various organizations than they did in the past. There is a general expectation that all business should engage in sound ethical practices. It is clear that there is accost to pay if you engage in unethical practices. Therefore, no matter what the gains from unethical practices may be, whether financial or otherwise, a business should not engage in them.
Business ethics concepts involve three basic values. These include honesty, fairness and integrity. Honesty involves maintenance of ones word to everyone you deal with and providing products or services at a reasonable cost for their quality. Integrity deals with social and environmental responsibilities that the businesses propagate. Fairness calls for the treating of all stakeholders in the business fairly. From employees, customers, and suppliers to everyone that has dealings with the organization. When dealing fairly with everyone, you should ensure that there is a win-win situation for everyone that is involved in a business transaction. Business ethics concepts can be tested through the examination of during commercial dealings with other people.
If both the parties involved end up benefiting, we can consider such a transaction as fair. If the management encouraging unethical gains in the organization: For illustration, if the management encourages cheating of customers, the employees will use the same tricks and cheat the management. Thus, the general image of the company will suffer. The outcome of dishonesty is hard to reverse; building credibility after the public has developed a negative image towards a particular business is not easy. Engaging in dishonest gains creates a permanent problem on how the public view the business. For a business to excel, it should comply with business ethics in all areas of its operation.