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Ethics - Dfinitions

What is or are ethics?

Latin ethicus or Greek ethikos pertaining to "ethos" or character.

A set of principles outlining a behavioral code that lays out what is good and right or bad and wrong

It may be difficult for individuals or groups in society to agree upon what is right and wrong

Ethics is A set of values that describe what is right or wrong, good or bad

May outline obligations and appropriate moral actions for both the individual and the organization

Other Definition of Ethics

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Psychology professor Steven Davis says that cheating by high school students has increased from about 20 percent in the 1940s to 75 percent today.
1. A system of principles by which human actions and proposals may be judged good or bad, right or wrong; 2. A set of rules or a standard governing the conduct of a particular class of human action or profession; 3. Any set of moral principles or values recognized by a particular religion, belief or philosophy; 4. The principles of right conduct of an individual. 5. Ethical behavior requires the ability to reason, to understand the consequences and to make choices about ones actions.


Legal vs. Ethical

Nature of Business Ethics

Ethics is the study of right and wrong behavior in the world of business; the fairness, rightness or justness of a course of conduct. In business, ethical decisions are the application of moral and ethical principles to the marketplace and workplace.

The law provides boundaries for defining what activities are illegal

The law, however, does not necessarily outline what is ethical.

Ethics within Businesses

Many businesses develop their own codes of ethics or conduct These codes outline what employees are to do in order to carry out what the company sees as the right thing to do in various circumstances

Codes Of Ethics
Adopted by business entities as a way to:
Provide standard guidance to executives and managers.
Take into account the duties owed by the business to its various stakeholders.

Code of Ethics
1. Honesty:
truthful in all your endeavors honest and forthright with one another customers communities

Example of Honesty




suppliers other stakeholders.



Code of Ethics
2. Integrity:
to say what you mean, to deliver what you promise, and to stand up for what is right. Example : waiting time, value for money,

Ethical communications requirements: Be knowledgeable about ethical issues and understand organizational values Participate in the decision-making process regarding ethical issues Communicate decisions regarding ethical issues to employees Keep communications channels open for all employees to feedback information without fear of reprisals Ensure relevant information is passed on to those who can act on it

Code of Ethics
3. Respect : treat others with dignity and fairness, appreciating the diversity of the people you deal with and their uniqueness.

Code of Ethics
4. Trust build confidence through teamwork practice an open and candid communication.

Code of Ethics
5. Responsibility to speak up without fear of retribution report concerns in the workplace and elsewhere, - including violations of laws, regulations, and company policies

Responsibilities to the General Public

Public Health Issues. What to do about inherently dangerous products such as alcohol, tobacco, vaccines, and steroids. Protecting the Environment. Using resources efficiently, minimizing pollution. Recycling. Reprocessing used materials for reuse.

Developing the Quality of the Workforce. Enhancing quality of the overall workforce through education and diversity initiatives.
Corporate Philanthropy. Cash contributions, donations of equipment and products, and supporting the volunteer efforts of company employees.


Responsibilities to Customers
The Right to Be Safe. Safe operation of products, avoiding product liability.

Responsibilities to Employees
Workplace Safety. Monitored by OSHA Quality-of-Life Issues. Balancing work and family through flexible work schedules, subsidized child care, and regulation such as medical leaves. Ensuring Equal Opportunity on the Job. Providing equal opportunities to all employees without discrimination; many aspects regulated by law. Age Discrimination. Age discrimination and employee act of 1968 protects workers age 40 or older. Sexual Harassment and Sexism. Avoiding unwelcome actions of a sexual nature; equal pay for equal work without regard to gender.

The Right to Be Informed. Avoiding false or misleading advertising and providing effective customer service.
The Right to Choose. Ability of consumers to choose the products and services they want. The Right to Be Heard. Ability of consumers to express legitimate complaints to the appropriate parties.

Code of Ethics
6. Citizenship to obey all laws of the countries where you do business to improve the communities where you live and work.

Ethical Guidelines for Professionals

How are professional ethics different from personal ethics? The professional is an expert in a field (e.g., medicine or computing) that the general public may know little about. Customers from the general public rely on the knowledge, expertise, and honesty of the professional. To the extent that a professional advertises expertise, he or she has an obligation to provide it.

To the extent that their expertise is required by society, professionals have a responsibility not only to their customers, but to the general public.

On-the-Job Ethical Dilemmas

Telling the truth and adhering to deeply felt ethical principles in business decisions.

Ethical Gray Areas

Sometimes whether an action is legal or ethical depends on how a court or administrative agency interprets a statute. What if different courts disagree?
If managers, in good faith, believe they are complying with a statute and later are ruled against, was their action unethical?

Situation in which a business decision may be influenced for personal gain.

Employees disclosure of illegal, immoral, or unethical practices in the organization.

Businesspeople expect employees to be loyal and truthful, but ethical conflicts may arise.


Movie The Pursuit of Happiness

This film is based on a true story As you watch the film, make notes of how business man Chris Gardner chooses to reach success based on his ethics and hard work, rather than cutting corners and unethical actions.

Ethics is very subjective Need to be knowledgeable Right judgment and answer Successful Entrepreneur