Ethics are known to be principles of right and wrong that individuals acting as free moral agents use to make choices to guide their behavior. For instance, it's unethical for one to give a bribe in order to obtain any other business contract in a given situation. Business ethics are considered to be the behavior in which any business needs to adhere to in its daily dealings with the world and it should take into consideration morality, ethical reasoning and ethics application. The ethical practices are normally mandated by the state, federal and local law (Sims, 1992).
Ethical wrong doing is increasingly a concern in today whether in science, politics or business. Most decisions are judged as right or wrong, ethical or unethical regardless of what an individual or business organization belief in a particular behavior whether correctly or not judgments directly affects the organization to achieve its business growth (Hunt, 1991).
For this reasons, it is important to understand business ethics and recognize ethical issues in wider perspective. Many people think that if an organization hires well behaved people with strong ethical vales, it will be a good citizen organization while some don't extinguish everyday ethical issue from business issues (Harrington, 1991). Professionals in any field deal with individual moral dilemmas as this issue affects persons morally to function effectively in any business set up.
In any case, we are left asking ourselves "What individual influences impact ethical behavior?" Individual influences can either be in a positive way which promotes the ethics of an organization or negative way which encourages the unethical behavior in any given business. Tyagi & Vibhuti (2010) contends that there are three aspects to ethical behavior in organizations: the development of the individual as an ethical person, the effect of the organization as an ethical or unethical environment, and the actions or procedures developed by the organization to encourage ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior.
Unethical behavior can be encouraged by either an individual or a group of people especially when provoked by any higher authority hence becoming very costly for the organization. Any poor management techniques in any business can foster a plethora of mergers and acquisitions. A National Business Ethics Survey (2005) defines some issues as the main contributors to unethical behavior. On top of the list with 21% was abusive behavior or intimidating character through physical threats, false accusations, being annoying, insults which can demoralize once hard-work ship and instead develop behaviors which are against the code of conduct (Tyagi, & Vibhuti, 2010).
Making decisions that are based on political factors versus fact-based decision making without consultation can make the workers to feel demoralized. To them is like being dictated by an individual or some individuals who have got their own self interest, those of the organization or those of some other group.
Inappropriate delay of given information or asked decisions can impact the codes of ethics of a given business. Double standards of behavior among functional groups or from leadership such as lies can also be unethical. Lies exist in two types that are Commission lies which intentionally deceive the receiver of given information in order to create an impression that the information given is correct. Omission lies which is a way of promoting selfishness by not informing your workmates of any issues that affects any kind of awareness in a business.
Gaining an illicitly advantage because of bribery which exists in two ways that is passive (promising or giving out) and active bribery (Officials who receive) which is brought by passive bribery because of casual money is illegal. Bribes have been associated with the downfall of many managers, legislators and government officials (Tyagi, & Vibhuti, 2010).
Undermining an individual because of some basis such as sex, marital status, sexual orientation can create various issues hence killing the image a given business posses. Issues such as new technologies, managing a diverse workforce, increased quality, and global competition are only a few. These challenges affect those who will either sink or swim during challenging times (Sims, 1992).
Hunt (1991) put forth that values are the bedrock of any corporate culture. Business decisions and actions often have ethical and moral ramifications. Confucius pointed out that "gentlemen can convince the world only with their noble ethics."And with this saying, the word gentlemen can be related to any leader of a business who is obligated to set more moral examples to their members by encouraging the ethical consciousness from the top down through showing support and care about the ethical practices. Through these measures, ethics can be followed in an organization.
Code of conduct should be created and be distributed by the top management of an organization so that members can stick to them and do what is needed by the business in order to achieve its goal. Moral awareness and self-actualization should be encouraged (Baucus, & Near, 1991).
Different department and staff should be given that responsibility of promoting ethical practices in a business set up. And for this to be achieved, appropriate training is needed. Rewarding its members who are performing better motivates their morale hence influencing the ethical behaviors of individual in a business. Management should create and sustain conditions in which people are likely to behave ethically and minimize conditions in which people might be tempted to behave unethically (Tyagi, & Vibhuti, 2010). In summary, it's good to recognize the relationship between legal and ethical decisions and following the golden rule that states "One should act in a way he would expect others to act towards him".