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CODE TO WORD: ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE

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Business ethics - an oxymoron? THE NOTION OF ETHICS. How can ethical decisions be distinguished from other decisions in business? Ethics has to do with right and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CODE TO WORD: ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE


1
CODE TO WORD ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Hudson Rogers
  • Fall 2003

2
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO Umm!
  • The only social responsibility of business is to
    increase profits (Freidman 1976).

3
GENERAL PERCEPTION OF BUSINESS ETHICS?
  • BUSINESS - Nasty! Chaotic! Self-Interested!
    Cut-Throat! Bad!
  • ETHICS Nice! Controlled! Altruistic! Moral!
    Good!
  • Business ethics - an oxymoron?

4
THE NOTION OF ETHICS
  • How can ethical decisions be distinguished from
    other decisions in business?
  • Ethics has to do with right and wrong.
  • Ethics concerned with situations that may result
    in actual or potential harm to individuals or
    groups - Focus on human good welfare.

5
BUSINESS ETHICS
  • BUSINESS ETHICS Application of moral reasoning
    to business decision-making.
  • Business ethics - right and wrong in a business
    setting. Three levels of ethical problems
    identifiable
  • Individual, Systemic (society/world), Corporate
    (organizational).

6
Ethics and the Workplace
  • Ethics in the workplace entails any and all acts
    that have moral/ethical consequences or
    implications.
  • Business decisions influenced by ethics.
  • Without ethics there is only the law. But law is
    not a sufficient criteria for judging behavior.
    There are behaviors that may be legal but are
    unethical.

7
A SCENARIO WORTH CONSIDERING
  • Assume that your firm is going under and you know
    about it. Now assume that someone offers to
    purchase a 1m worth of products that also
    require servicing into the future.
  • Question Would you take the order?

8
Workplace Ethics
  • Workplace ethics involve such gray areas as
    dealings with peers, superiors, subordinates,
    quality of work, worker product safety, lying
    (social, peace keeping, protective, trust
    keeping) truth in advertising, use of company
    property, padding expense accounts, whistle
    blowing, selling harmful or questionable
    products, handling toxic materials,
    environmentalism.

9
Workplace Ethics
  • A large number of firms seek to address workplace
    ethics by means of
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Policies and Procedures
  • However, these are related more towards what is
    in place on paper (easy - punishment related)
    rather than towards the development of mature
    moral reasoning and stressing ethical judgement
    (culture).

10
THE CHALLENGE
  • Achieving moral maturity by developing the
    ability to make sound ethical judgements and a
    developed habit of doing so.

11
DEVELOPING MORAL REASONING
  • We are each defined by our preferences hence
    individual value system makes it difficult if not
    impossible to discuss issues that face us as a
    society.
  • Moral ideals cannot be achieved based on
    individualistic norms. To develop moral ideals
    we must first have shared values. Firms must
    create cultures that facilitate shared values and
    moral reasoning.

12
Moral Reasoning - Ways of Viewing Ethical
Decisions
  • Absolutist - right and wrong clearly
    unambiguously defined universally in all
    situations (Thou shall not kill! Things seen as
    Black and White)
  • Relativist - group, individual, culture decides.
    Everything is a shade of gray.
  • Situational - ethics depends upon the situation
    (different from relative ethics). What is
    ethical determined by a moving line.

13
Moral Judgment
  • Kohlberg asserts that moral judgment is the
    single most important factor in moral behavior.
  • Moral maturity cannot be attained without moral
    reasoning - making intelligent judgments on the
    rightness and wrongness of moral issues.
  • How do we develop moral reasoning?

14
KOHLBERGS THREE STAGE MODEL
15
ETHICAL NORMS FOR BUSINESS DECISIONS
  • UTILITARIANISM - Maximizing satisfaction/greatest
    good for the greatest number or least harm to the
    fewest.
  • Utilitarianism provides a standard by which we
    judge which actions are right or wrong, good or
    bad.

16
UTILITARIANISM
  • An act is Good if it results in the greatest
    happiness for the greatest number or if it
    results in the least unhappiness for the least
    number.

17
UTILITARIANISM
  • Identify the Alternative courses of action
  • Determine the costs and benefits for each
    stakeholder
  • Select the Best alternative - greatest benefit or
    least cost
  • Make the best alternative a universal rule or
    policy.

18
UTILITARIANISM
  • How should we define benefits and harm so that
    they can be measured?
  • Who decides?
  • What happens when benefits collide with the
    rights of others or leads to unfair outcomes?

19
RIGHTS DUTIES
  • Rights - whats needed to live a life that
    expresses value.
  • Rights - justifiable claim, entitlement or
    protection against collective goals (Liberty
    Rights Welfare Rights)
  • No action should violate fundamental human rights
  • Duty/Obligation - that which you must do.

20
JUSTICE
  • Justice - Fair distribution of Benefits Burdens
  • Which is the fair distribution standard? In
    giving raise which measure should we use -
    equality, effort, need, accomplishment, position,
    contribution?

21
JUSTICE STANDARD
  • Fair Distribution follows three principles
  • Equal Liberty - maximum liberty compatible with
    liberty of others
  • Difference Principle - inequities ethical if
    benefit least advantaged
  • Equal Opportunity Principle - benefits equally
    open to all.

22
CARING PRINCIPLE
  • As members of a society we are responsible for
    well-being of others.
  • Caring increases with the level of dependency
    involved.
  • In making business decisions, trust, teamwork,
    relationships and communication seen as important
    norms.

23
ROTARYS FOUR-WAY TEST
  • Is it the truth
  • (Rights)
  • IS it FAIR to all concerned?
  • (JUSTICE)

24
ROTARYS FOUR-WAY TEST
  • Will it build GOODWILL and Better FRIENDSHIPS
  • (Caring)
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
  • (Utilitarianism)

25
RECONCILING THE DIFFERENCES?
  • How do you reconcile the conflict created from a
    pluralistic approach involving the various
    ethical theories?
  • Ethics in the workplace is the search for a more
    harmonious existence.
  • Only attainable through decision making process
    that focuses on morally mature reasoning aimed at
    improving ethical judgement.

26
Seven-Step Process of Making Ethical Decisions
  • 1. What are the Facts
  • 2. What are the Ethical Issues
  • 3. What are the Alternatives?
  • 4. Who are the Stakeholders?
  • 5. What are the Ethics of the Alternatives?
  • 6. What are the Practical Constraints?
  • 7. What Actions Should we Take?

27
RULES OF ETHICAL THINKING
  • 1. Consider the well-being of others.
  • 2. Think as a member of a community.
  • 3. Obey but do not depend only on the law.
  • 4. View self and firm as part of society.
  • 5. Obey moral rules in all situations.
  • 6. Think objectively
  • 7. Ask, What kind of person would do such a
    thing.
  • 8. Respect other customs but keep your ethics.

28
Impediments to Applying Ethical Logic
  • 1. Denial of Responsibility - I HAD NO CHOICE!
  • 2. Denial of Injury - NO ONE GOT HURT!
  • 3. Denial of Victim - HE HAD IT COMING!
  • 4. Condemning the Condemners - THEY DO NOT HAVE
    THE RIGHT TO TALK!
  • 5. Appeal to Higher Loyalties - WE DID IT FOR GOD
    AND COUNTRY!

29
CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN
  • Ethics in the workplace provides better quality
    of life, greater long-term profitability and less
    stress.
  • ETHICAL BUSINESS IS GOOD BUSINESS.
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