Ethical Decision Making in Business
Not only because it is the right thing to do, but more importantly it will create a trust that can not be moved!
Corporate Ethics Training
Integrity – The quality or state of being of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.
Ethics – The science of human duty; the body of rules of duty drawn from this science; a particular system of principles and rules concerting duty, whether true or false; rules of practice in respect to a single class of human actions; as, political or social ethics; medical ethics.
As a company forms they must establish a set of ethical standards from what is acceptable use of the computer to financial policies.
The use of ethical decision making in business fall right into place provided you have the building blocks in place covering your standard operating procedures. Those decisions will be the easy ones except that sometimes individuals let greed get into the way.
For instance what if the decision that is being considered can effect ones bonus! What if it effects the financial stability of a department? What if it effects one or more jobs?
These all get in the way of using ethics when making decisions.
Because it gets personal! Very personal!
Especially when the person making the decision may be the only one effected or have in depth knowledge of the decisions outcome. Why do you think there are so many that get in trouble with insider trading? They know its wrong but they believe that they can get away with it! They threw ethics and integrity out the window because of greed!
Is there a way to eliminate all possibilities of this? Of course not!
However, if from the top down a climate and culture of integrity and ethics are continually ingrained into the day to day working practices so that it is almost automatic that truth wins out of falsehoods.
When a company focuses more on the solution than blame, ethics generally will win out.
In other words if individuals are not worried about consequences when trying to solve problems or making decisions you will be more likely arrive at better solutions that are ethical.
Now that isn't to say that consequences are never part of the problem when individuals have intentionally created harm. I am speaking more to inadvertent mistakes.
For instances if you had an individual intentionally doctor the books to get a raise that is unacceptable and should be punished. However, if that same person made a simple accounting error then lets fix the error and retrain the employee.
So getting back to why is ethical decision making in business so important and how it leads to trust in your organization.
When we have a set of principles that make up our organizations ethical policies, we must have and apply integrity to carry those policies out in an ethical manner. Applying the integrity is where the trust comes from. The policy on its own means nothing. It is standing by it that matters.
The first time any management individual strays from it to benefit themselves or the company in general, trust will be thrown out the window. Along with trust will be productivity, increased turn over, loyalty, disciplinary problems, sales, profit, etc.
That is why ethical decision making in business is so important at all times.