Quick bits for the business professional.
Ethics: What does this look like for a company?
There are a great many misconceptions about ethics and ethical behavior.
Chief among the misconceptions is that morality and ethics are the same. This could not be further from the truth.
- A code of values set and owned by an organization or company. This means they are written and usually distributed.
- The determination of the required behaviors and values for team members within a system or organization.
- The demonstration of the correct choices and actions valued by an organization.
- Often documented in a code of conduct document.
- Influenced by laws, regulations, and society expectations.
- Owned and dictated by an organization.
- Can be embraced partially or fully by individuals operating within the organization. Full compatibility with a team member or leader’s personal values or morality is not required. Some compatibility is needed for job satisfaction.
- Not preventative of bad behavior or performance but define boundaries. If a team member is determined to do something unethical, they will.
- Prescriptive. This means an event occurs and the organization determines it to be unethical and creates a new ethical standard to cover future occurrences. No one has an ethical crystal ball to predict future ethical challenges.
- Concerned with value and judgment.
- Guidelines for decision making.
- Rules to justify behaviors and decisions. The most common justification of a response or decision related to ethics is saying “no”. Using ethical standards allows you to turn down or respond in the negative when a request is crossing ethical boundaries.
- Guidelines for dealing with other people.
- Supported by choice. All decisions and choices are either ethically compatible or not ethically compatible.