Ethics in the Workplace

Essay by ajarreauUniversity, Bachelor's February 2003

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An Ethics Toolkit for Managers

Ethics in business is a concept that has come to mean various things to various people, but it is generally based on the principle of doing what is right in the workplace. Business ethics is about prioritizing moral values for the workplace and ensuring behaviors are aligned with those values. Many view business ethics as value management. Leaders and managers can use ethics as a tool to ensure morality at times of crisis and confusion. There are many benefits when ethics is applied in the workplace, and it is extremely important when a business is undergoing a fundamental change. Many ethicists believe that there is a right thing to do based on moral principle, while others believe the right thing to do depends on the situation and it ultimately left up to the individual. Today, 90% of business schools provide some form of training in business ethics.

Buisness ethics can be managed in the workplace through use of codes of ethics, codes of conduct, and policies and procedures, etc. (Driscoll, Hoffman, 2000)

Business ethics can be viewed as a management discipline dating back to the decade of the 1960s. With the birth of the social responsibility movement, social awareness raised expectations of businesses to use their financial and social influence to address social problems such as poverty, crime, environmental protection, equal rights, public health and the improvement of education. Society began to see the business industry making profits off of the country's resources and therefore indebted them to improve society. Many researchers, business schools and managers have recognized this and in their planning and operations have replaced the word "stockholder" with "stakeholder" meaning to include employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community. Organizations realized that they needed to manage a more positive image to the...