How Personal Can Ethics Get? Essay

1635 words - 7 pages

How Personal Can Ethics Get?

Personal differences and preferences can greatly impact an organizations’ ethics. With millions of individuals in the workforce today it is expected that the workforce be varied with different sexual orientations, religions, cultures, norms, attitudes, and expectations. In fact according to the United States Department of Labor more than half of the U.S. workforce consists of women, minorities, and recent immigrants (Toossi, pg. 10). With these types of statistics it is more important than ever for a company to create strong ethical environments.
Ethical issues in organizations are widespread and multifaceted. “Some ethical issues involve factors that blur ...view middle of the document...

If leaders show a high level of ethical behavior such as taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions their employees will be more inclined to follow suit. Alternatively, if employees observe their leaders pushing the blame onto others, falsifying their time sheets, and other forms of unethical behavior, they assume that these actions will be accepted, ignored, or possibly even rewarded. “Anne Mulcahy and the other top executives at Xerox show their commitment to a strong ethical culture by using their own behavior as an example”(Hellriegel & Slocum, pg 37).
An organization’s official policies and procedures also have an influential impact on an organization and their employees’ individual ethics. “The strength of a company’s ethical culture is the extent to which the organization makes doing the right thing a priority” (ERC, pg 4). A successful company with strong ethics must develop a strong organizational and ethical culture that values individual differences and ensures that the skills and talents of all employees are used to their fullest extent. Just like in the examples above a company who shows a high level of ethical standards will be more likely to have employees that exhibit them also.
“The cost of the lack of ethics is much higher than the cost of ethics in business” (Cory, pg 8). One way an organization can exhibit their ethics is by having a clearly developed code of conduct/ethics and help employees understand their company policies through ethics training. “If truly part of the organization’s ethical culture, a code of ethics can clarify for all parties, internal and external, the principles and standards that govern its conduct.”(Hellriegel & Slocum, pg 43). Codes of conduct/ethics may also serve a variety of other useful purposes including helping employees from various backgrounds work more efficiently together and to show employees how to react when then find themselves in an ethical dilemma.
One such dilemma is the one faced by Valerie Young, a marketing manager at Wisson, an international cosmetic and fragrance company. During her employment at the company she was faced with an ethical dilemma of her boss, Lionel Waters, accepting personal payments and kickbacks to the tune of $35,000 a month from the companies that developed the perfumes. Waters also was known to take long extended vacations, hire his close friends, cancel meetings last minute, and spend an inordinate amount of the company’s money on fruitless endeavors. “It finally deteriorated to the point that even the most positive colleagues realized that Waters contributed nothing to either the work level or morale, both of which were already low” (Hellriegel & Slocum, pg 564).
Unfortunately for Valerie, one day while fixing a jam in the copier at work she came face to face with Water’s unethical behavior in the form of invoices in his personal consulting company’s name to the perfume developers for Wisson. Accepting personnel payments and...

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