This paper will try to explain my general philosophy on the ethical behavior and importance of the ethical manners in the business world. Ethics is a vast topic that can be analyzed to a long span without reaching a common consensus. However, it will shade some light on developing ethical wisdom and approach to ethical decision making.
Ethics, or moral philosophies, refer to the specific fundamental principles or theories that guide people to determine the right moral conduct towards particular individual or our society. In context of moral philosophies, business ethics determines how people, business institutions or firms should take right actions for successful business. To put it simply, it is application of ethical values in commercial world.
I think, individual’s ethics plays important role in a proper business decision making. Individual’s personal morals and values are one of the factors in the ethical decision making process. However, being a good person and having high personal ethical view may not be sufficient to deal with the ethical issues in the commercial world. Business ethics helps in tackling clashes between personal ethics and those of the organization with which you are associated.
Business ethics are based upon three main factors: 1- avoiding illegal activity in the organization; 2- avoiding any act which results into legal actions against the organization; 3- avoiding actions that can cause bad reputation of the company. Many philosophers argue that good ethics comes from well profitable business. Profit causes increase both in the moral of the individual and an organization. But I think, making money motive often encourages unethical behavior. For example, people opt for cheaper cars without sufficient air bags, even though it is highly risky and against the safety rules. Companies provide such custom cars to earn more profit, ignoring basic ethical values. I think, good ethics possessing organizations make a good business. It is always profitable to provide reliable products to consumers as it increases company’s reputation and trust in the market. A morally responsible organization always pays attention to standard and safety of products, honest marketing and proper working conditions. Providing good working environment and respecting employees’ rights can increase moral and work efficiency of the workers. Moral based companies are profitable in the long run business. In other words, ethics and profit are highly related to each other in the business world.
In professional life, we come across many situations where we need to take important decisions. Many philosophers have already given a lot of frameworks and principles, which can guide us in the ethical decision making. However, many concepts in such models are often misleading and confusing.
The principle of utilitarianism emphasizes on positive good result and least harm to the related organization, its customers and employees. It states that if consequences of particular act result in happiness of majority of number, then act is right. But, it can cause violation of individual rights for the sake of majority. In many of the cases decisions need to take regardless of individual’s personal ethical views and happiness. The imperative principle is more deontological. According to it, right actions are defined by obligations and duties regardless of consequence of act. Some things should have never be done, no matter what good consequence it produce (“Six Ethical Philosophies”)
While making ethical decision, I try to apply these principles and choose the most suitable solution for the particular situation. First step is to understand the depth of problem and necessity of ethical vision. After understanding the issue, I try to analyze it by asking few questions to myself. Will my decision could be harmful to an individual or a group? I try to reduce the harm as much as possible. I check if my options are trustworthy, fair, responsible and beneficial for everyone. The level of Legal involvement, the financial impact, the human rights are another factor of consideration. In case of dilemma, I go with the option which satisfies most of the cases and which addresses the situation in the best way. For example, recently in dealing with second hand car, I came across ethical decision making. Despite of the opportunity to hide the information which can lower the value of the car, I decided to give all information to the buyer. My decision was based more on the imperative principle, rather than the principle of utilitarianism.
Today, manipulation, scam, dishonesty, hoarding, black marketing, corruption has widely affected the commercial field. Such acts are harmful for the consumers, which can be prevented by business ethics. Business ethics helps to gain trust of the customers. They feel comfortable and confident while doing business with organizations following ethical behavior. In simple terms, for long term profitable business, it is important to follow business ethics. The organizations without business ethics cannot survive in the market. Therefore, even if there is no possibility of detection, it is important to act in an ethical manner. In the field of economics, it is generally assumed that individuals act in their own economic self interest. Thus, it is generally assumed that individuals will not act ethically if it is not in their economic self interest to do so. For example, everyone will cheat on their taxes if there is no possibility of detection. I think, in general people do act like this, but it is harmful and creates the negative impact on our society.
Business ethics makes a good impression of a company in the market. The society always helps and supports the businessmen who follow such ethical behaviors. The workers are the main backbone of any business organization. The satisfaction and moral boost of the employees are the main keys for successful business. Following business ethics, such as proper working conditions and good wages, improves the working efficiency of the workers. The clients’ satisfaction helps in survival of business. Therefore, by being honest and fair and by following all the necessary principles of business ethics, one can achieve a great success in the business.
Although corporate ethical codes of conduct are formed for a successful business with the positive environment in the competitive market, application of the business ethics in practical field is more important. The ethical behavior of an individual develops from the childhood itself. The positive and the negative aspects, cultural values, social surroundings - all these factors perform vital role in adopting the ethics and the values. The ethical behavior is something which one learns as a child. Yet, by studying the professional courses on the ethics, adults also can develop their ethical skills.
The ethics programs can be helpful for developing an overall code of conduct in the business organizations. Such trainings help the staff members and the commercial firms to apply the business ethics in an effective way.
Thus, it is important to follow the business ethics in the commercial field for creating a successful prosperous society. Business ethics is a complex subject with wide range of the principles and the theories. With proper study and management of the business ethics, it is possible to maximize profit graph of the organization and tackle business malpractices in the world.
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