Fri 23 Feb 2007
An Introduction To Business Ethics
I've observed that even individuals who have strong moral values can make ethically questionable decisions in any business. There are many factors that influence vital business decisions. The general factors that affect these decisions include the influence of individual characteristics and preferences, opportunities and social elements.
Individual factors: Different individuals have different levels of understanding and this affects their decisions. A decision maker with vast knowledge about a situation or a particular subject is better equipped to avoid conflict and handle related business issues effectively. An individual's moral values and attitude influences their decisions and also their behavior within an organization. Most people join an organization to achieve their personal goals; however, sometimes the method of interaction adopted is contrary to what is expected.
Opportunities: Decisions also depend on the opportunities offered by an organization to an employee to behave ethically. Some organization policies do not provide many opportunities to employees and this can result in unethical behavior. There are some others who reduce the chances of their employees behaving unethically. For example, in some restaurants an employee takes an order and receives the payment, while another person fills the order. This procedure reduces the opportunity of unethical behavior, since the person handling the money is not dispensing the products.
Social Factors: A person's behavior in an organization depends on his cultural background and this differs from person to person. For example, in some countries it is ethical to receive gratuities for performing ordinary legal tasks, while in some countries this is considered unethical and even illegal. The actions and decisions taken speak volumes for a person's sense of business ethics. An individual's moral values, ethics and attitude affect his perception about what is unethical and ethical, within the workplace.
By being aware of the various factors that affect business ethics, you can ensure the utmost standards of integrity in your business.