Business and Ethical Reasoning
In today’s society most people that work in a corporation often come across and have to deal with on the job ethical issues. “Ethics is a conception of right and wrong conduct. Ethical business behavior is demanded by business stakeholders, enhances business performance, complies with legal requirements, prevents or minimizes harm, and promotes personal morality” (Lawrence and Weber 2011). Ethic issues occur in all areas of business and at all levels of business management. I believe that ethical problems occur for certain reasons one being the selfishness of others.
To help prevent unethical issues management must be able to recognize and help solve ethical dilemmas in the workplace. “Managers are key to whether a company and its employees will act ethically or unethically (Lawrence and Weber 2011). In some cases, managers and employees exhibit poor ethical behavior because the company doesn’t offer a clear model of ethics. Some businesses have no formal ethical policy documents and offer no guidance at all. Others have policies that are unclear, vague, inconsistent or not consistently enforced. Why do ethical problems occur in business?
If so many business claim to be so ethical then why is it that several ethical issues are happening? Finding the cause of these issues is a step closer to being able to help reduce the way it impacts the business and the people involved. Conflict of interest is an ethical problem that often happens in the workplace. “Conflict of interest occurs when an individual’s self-interest conflicts with acting in the best interest of another, when the individual has an obligation to do so” (Lawrence and Weber 2011). Failure to tell or reveal a conflict of interest stands for deceit and may put the company and or the person in a big predicament.
Situations such as conflict of interest should be avoided at all times if possible. Competitive pressures on profits are forcing companies that are barely making it to act in an unethical behavior in order to make ends meet. The vast majority of bad ethical decisions in companies add up to money in some way. “Research has shown that managers of poor financial performance and companies with financial uncertainties are more prone to commit illegal acts. In addition, intense competitive pressure in the global marketplace has resulted in unethical activity, such as the practice of price fixing” (Lawrence and Weber 2011).
Other ethical problems that are occurring in businesses are cross-cultural differences. There are several US companies that work with other companies outside of the US, where ethical standards may differ from ours and must learn to do business according to guidelines that everyone agrees to. In today’s society I feel that ethical cultural differences are occurring more frequently. “In some businesses, peers demand high ethical standards and behaviors among colleagues. In companies that routinely exhibit bad ethics, employees either condone or go along with poor ethical decisions or passively condone them through inaction”(chron. om). Spirituality in the workplace is another common ethical concern. Spirituality is “a personal belief in a supreme being, religious organization, or power of nature or some other external, life guiding force” (Lawrence and Weber 2011). Now a day’s employers have made it easier for employees to practice their spirituality and or practice their religion at work. Studies have shown that by allowing employees to practice their personal beliefs- it has enhanced employees commitment and responsibility.
Is ethical behavior good or bad for business? There are several advantages and disadvantages, according to tutor2. net some advantages for ethical behavior are: higher revenue-demand from positive consumer support, improved brand and business awareness and recognition, and better employee motivation and recruitment. Some disadvantages include higher cost-sourcing from fair-trade suppliers rather than lowest price, higher overheads-training and communication of ethical policy, and danger of building up false expectations (tutor2u. et). I believe that ethical reasoning is necessary in the business world to keep company operations running smoothly and fairly. Big and small companies are starting to realize the importance of ethics in business and that it’s crucial for them to succeed. A successful company must learn that confidence and respect of its customers are important to its business. An unsatisfied customer can definitely hurt any company, something that no one would want to happen (Abgata Jnr. 2012).