Ethics in The Workplace
We as a society are faced with ethical dilemmas virtually every day. How we handle these situations shapes our culture. But what are ethics? According to the Miniature Guide to Ethical Reasoning, ethical reasoning entails doing what is right even in the face of powerful selfish desires. To live an ethical life is to develop control of our own egocentric tendencies. It is not enough to be able to do the right thing when we ourselves have nothing to lose. We must be willing to fulfill our ethical obligations at the expense of our self-centered desires and vested interests. (Dr. Richard Paul & Dr. Linda Elder, 2003) In short, ethics is doing what is right even when no one is looking. A society with a strong code of ethics tends to run smoothly. A society with no code of ethics devolves into anarchy. Although arguments have been made to the contrary, ethics are just as vital in the workplace. Ethics are essential in the workplace because a tough ethical code provides a non-threatening environment with high employee morale, a company that exhibits clear-cut ethics tends to show higher profits, and simply because it is the right thing to do.
The Ethics Resource Center, a non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to business ethics, released the results of its 2005 National Business Ethics Survey, polling more than 3000 workers across America. The results were disheartening.
21% observed abusive or intimidating behavior toward employees
19% observed lying to customers, employees, vendors or the public
18% observed situations that placed employee interests over company interests
16% observed violations of safety regulations and misreporting of time worked (Verschoor, 2000, pp. 19-20)
... middle of paper ...
Dr. Richard Paul & Dr. Linda Elder. (2003). The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning. The Foundation for Critical Thinking.
Guest, E. (n.d.). SoFinesJoyfulMoments. Retrieved May 8, 2006, from Mary (Garren) Morand Web site: http://sofinesjoyfulmoments.com/quotes/sermon.htm
Schumann, P.L. (Spring/Summer 2001). A moral principles framework for human resource management ethics. Human Resource Management Review, 11 (1/2), 93. Retrieved May 6, 2006, from http://web102.epnet.com.
Verschoor, C. (2000, December). Ethical Culture: Most Important Barrier to Ethical Misconduct. Strategic Finance, 87, 19-20. Retrieved May 6, 2006, from http://web107.epnet.com.
Zamansky, J. (02/01/2006). At the least, former Enron chiefs are guilty of moral bankruptcy. USAToday, 0734-7456, p. 11a. Retrieved from http://web102.epnet.com.