Ethics guide the decision-making and actions of an individual. More extensively, collective employee ethics shape the direction of a company. This document will explore sources of ethical influence, both for individuals, and organizations. It will further explain the need for ethics at an organizational level, how those fit in with directions and goals of an organization, and finally conclude with the effect both individual and organizational ethics have on society.
People find themselves facing questions with negative and positive consequence each day. At each stage of life, an individual faces ethical questions, “Is it acceptable to cheat on a test? Or, cheat on a tax return? How about committing adultery? Is killing justified if it serves the greater good in the long term?” Each is a personal ethical dilemma. Although individuals make these choices alone, the consequences, for instance the killing of another person, may affect a much larger number of people afterward.
Ethics are a question of moral character and integrity. Decisions based on respect, socially reasonable, and righteous, deem them ethical. Alternatively, unethical decisions are those solely in self-interest, without regard for effect on others. Ethics devise character, as the Josephson Institute examines, and these pieces include caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness (Josephson Institute, 2009). Good ethics keep an individual in alignment with society’s expectations.
In addition, the reverse is also true; exercising a lack of personal ethics can ostracize a person. Infidelity by former Senator John Edwards caused the Democratic Party to banish support, and earned him a date in court...
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...long-term vision of the company (Barry & Stansbury, 2007, p. 239-241). Otherwise, operational integrity breaks down; the company becomes disjointed and will not reach its objectives consistently, or even collapse altogether.
Societal values and beliefs exist for the mutual benefit of all people. Through a shared system of ethics, individuals can contribute to society in a positive manner, and everyone can achieve more than any single individual or organization could accomplish alone. Corporations also have a social responsibility based on economic, ethical, legal, and philanthropic hierarchies (Nelson & Trevino, 2007, chapter two, p. 14). Solid organizations strive to become of the larger good, using their power to interject positive change. Together, both individuals and corporations achieve more when ethical values align, which makes social cooperation possible.
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