Personal Ethics : An Individual 's Moral Compass Essay

Personal Ethics : An Individual 's Moral Compass Essay

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Personal ethics operate as an individual’s moral compass; a barometer from which their choices are measured and their actions gauged relative to the potential impact those choices may have on themselves and others alike. Personal ethics are the standards of conduct that an individual can adopt and adhere to in dealing with a variety of circumstances or situations, accepting the consequences of, and responsibility for, the actions they choose to execute. Personal ethics influence the individual’s choice between what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, and the individual’s ability to make a proper choice and do what is best for all who may be involved or affected, including the organizations in which they are employed, thus giving rise to corporate structures designed to influence and guide those personal ethics in the ways they manifest themselves under the corporate umbrella.

Corporate social responsibility, on the other hand, involves recognizing and accepting the potential outcome, or consequences, of decisions and actions that a corporate entity may choose to execute or pursue. Corporate social responsibility affects a much larger audience than personal ethics and therefore can quickly garner a greater and more widespread reaction, good or bad, from that social audience. In the organizational context, corporate social responsibility is generally derived from corporate vision or goodwill that is internally defined within the corporate structure while being externally pursued as a collective organizational body rather than having been formulated and driven by any individual ethical choice or action within that organization. This is not to say, however, that personal ethics do not impact corporate socia...


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...uct. Managers must recognize and accept their role in shaping the organizational structures that drive ethics down to the personal level. Ignoring that responsibility can increase the risk of both personal and corporate liability in the event an unscrupulous employee commits unethical or unlawful acts under the corporate umbrella. Organizational structures must be designed to drive ethics and personal integrity throughout their organizations on a daily basis, working to achieve congruence between personal ethical behavior and a corporate code of ethics designed to prevent damaging ethical lapses while establishing a clear concern for the law (Paine 1994). The organizational challenge is in translating their code of ethics into the everyday efforts and actions of the managers to the employees, from the boardroom to the front lines of the business (Workplace n.d.).

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