Ethics in today’s society and business
Discuss about Ethics in today’s society and business………………
Long sentence outline
I. Ethics are very important in all parts of life as they provide the structure for right and wrong and people with strong morals and ethics.
- Ethics are vital for effective business and society development and growth
- Ethics in professions enhances robust economy and improved moral fiber in the business.
- Leadership styles and ethical leadership are important in achievement of the profession’s goals and in professional services.
- Professions’ practicing ethical profession ensures moral community.
B. Ethics are not necessary in everything we do, but they are very important in all parts of life because people with strong morals have strong ethics.
1. Moral floor is usually set high that firms that engage in ethical activities do not reap rewards, and below that firms that engage in unethical activities are punished by economic marketplace actors
2. People raised in religious households are often expected to behave morally or else they face consequences
3. Good ethics contributes to good business and bad ethics leads bad business.
II. Creating time to contemplate a decision increases moral awareness and chances of ethical choices.
- Individuals acquire moral credits from their initial ethical choices through which they can make next self interested choices.
1. Physicians believe religion is the foundation of medical ethics.
2. Religious indoctrination were initial ethical choice
B. Internal moral value systems of an individual are key parts of his impression and self concept management efforts
1. Cheating increases with simultaneous preservation of a positive moral image.
2. In an isolated decision self interest forces conflicts with moral self-image
Any one planning to start and operate a business need to understand that ethics are important in all parts of life as they determine the structure for right and wrong and they contribute to people with strong morals and ethics within an organization and in the society. They play a role in business and society development and growth as ethics in professions ensures robust business economy, improved moral fiber, achievement of profession’s goals and professional services and moral community through leadership approach to ethics that spreads moral values within the business. Though ethics are not necessary in everything that people do, they are important in all parts of life because it is only through strong morals that people can have strong ethics. Moreover, good ethics contribute to good business and bad ethics leads to bad business. However, the moral floor is usually set high that firms that are involved in ethical activities hardly achieves to be rewarded but the firms that are involved in unethical activities are punished. For example, people raised in religious household are expected to behave morally, failure to which they are punished.
Having time to contemplate a decision promotes moral awareness and chances of ethical choices. Individuals acquire moral credits from their initial ethical choices through which they can make next self interested choices. For example: Physicians believe religion is the foundation of medical ethics
People need to understand that internal moral value systems of an individual are key part of his impression and self concept management efforts. Studies proves this through the arguments that cheating increases with simultaneous preservation of a positive moral image, while in isolated decision self interest forces conflicts with moral self-image. It is therefore important to use ethics in all parts of life in order to have a structure of the right and the wrong, and to develop people with strong morals and ethics in business and in the society.
Ethics are important in all parts of life as they determine the structure for right and wrong and they contribute to people with strong morals and ethics within an organization and in the society. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the role of ethics in today’s business and society. The paper has used theories and example from literature to describe the role of ethics in business and the society especially in today’s world that is characterized by technology advancements and competitive business. The paper has covered the ethical leadership and professions in promoting community values, compensatory ethics and the basis of ethical values including religious and medical ethics.
Ethics in today’s society and business
Business ethics involves the standard conduct of individual people in a business, not really the standards of the business as a whole. A profitable and successful business enhances a good society. Professions are good examples of a moral community. Furthermore, professional leaders who are possessed of moral intelligence are capable of enhancing ethical fabric in their communities. Through appropriate ethical leadership model, especially in professional business sector, ethical behavior is promoted in professions with consequent sustainability and legitimacy required for effective achievement of professionals’ goals, and dissemination of moral values within an organization.
It is important to note that professions have a specialized knowledge base, and acumen in performance that is usually related the knowledge factors that enable them to be involved in unique market transactions and to practice the specialized skills to the service of others creating the significant possibilities of harm to other individuals or the society. This means moral intensity of their transactions is high a concept that embraces ethical choices including the concentration of effects, social consensus, magnitude of consequence and probability of effects factors that contributes to relapsing professional morals. (Bayles, 1989). Therefore, professional morality expected from professions is considerably higher than in business at large.
In business context, professionals assume leadership roles thus they need to practice the learnt skills and lead others. Since they are self regulated and the outcome of their decisions vary and affect a number of stockholder’s interests thus moral intelligence is required for effective leadership and business development. Ethical leadership is derived from transformational leadership style that considers moral rectitude, trust and integrity as core values and vision as an achieving moral good, unlike transactional leadership style that values follower motivation as a way of achieving the set goals while focusing on the bottom-line results. Ethical leadership is vital because information and knowledge are mobile in professions; they create chances of ethical abuse. Ethical leaders pilots professions thus the likelihood of promoting moral intelligence to the people being led, and development of reciprocal trust in relevant communities. (Sama & Shoaf 2008, pp. 40). It is clear that ethical leadership serves the public good as it confers legitimacy to actors and agencies within the organization and the community. (Bass & Avolio, 1994)
Ethics are not necessary in everything we do, but they are important in all parts of life because people with strong morals have strong ethics. Taking time to contemplate a decision increases the moral awareness of an individual. The process of making of ethical decisions is dynamic as the decisions can take an up-and-down pattern and the ethical choices that are made reverse the ethical stance of the preceding choices. The initial ethical decisions are made following situational and personal forces, but once the first choices have been made their ethicality influences the ethical intra-person dynamics in the decisions that follows. Overtime, the dynamics determines if an individual will alternate between less or more ethical decisions. This process illustrates the intra-personal interplay of the desire to demonstrate a moral-image and self-interest. Recent researches show that behavior is influenced by self-interest either consciously or unconsciously. (Moore and Loewenstein, 2004). Furthermore, the internal moral value systems of an individual are key parts of his impression and self concept management efforts. Studies show that cheating increases with simultaneous preservation of a positive moral image. However, in an isolated decision, the two forces conflicts causing dominance of self-interest while exposing individual’s moral self-image to risks, dominance of self-interest and distortation of individual’s perceptions in order top maintain a moral self-image, or dominance of moral-self at the expense of the individual’s benefits.
Through Series of ethical decisions, individuals can allot decisions to either maintain self- interest or a positive self-image. Compensatory mechanism documented in various studies predicts that initial unethical behavior can induce ethical behavior in subsequent decision and choices thus restoring moral self-image. A combination of the compensatory and licensing mechanism gives a compensatory model which suggests that individuals acquire moral credits from their initial ethical choices through which they can make next self interested choices (Zhong et al. 2010). Moreover, the model predicts that moral credits of an individual are reduced by initial unethical encouraging them to make ethical choices. The compensatory model was evidenced in informal poll presented in the by Virtual Mentor (2005) to determine the basis of ethical values in professions and ethics forum showed that 62% of the physicians agreed that religious beliefs are the base for their medical ethics. Although it is perceived by many people that medical ethics is secular, there is still debate on the foundation of medical ethics as some argue that it is based on virtue, others on narrative or consequences while still others on principle of prima facie. Although many physicians thinks that values such as provision of the best treatment to patients, respect for patient’s dignity and services to the poor among others originates from their own religion, studies show that the values are shared across many religions. It therefore means that although religious indoctrination could have been the initial ethical choice, religion is not the base for ethics and certainly even without religion there can be ethics as the initial ethical choice enhanced subsequent moral image and ethical choices.(Boyd, 2005)..
Ethical behavior and profitability are connected. Moreover, good ethics predicts good business and vice versa. In their reports, researchers argue that moral floor exists in a high level that firms that engage in ethical activities do not reap rewards but at a level that firms that engage in unethical activities are punished. For clear understanding lets consider a few examples. Research carried out by scientist inWesternWashingtonUniversityshows that Johnson & Johnson suffered a devastating blow when several deaths were associated with Cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules that the company produced. The company decided to get the Tylenol capsules from the shelves. The public considered the decision ethical and the company won universal acclaim. Because the company illustrated good ethics, when Tylenol was returned to the market its share in the market certainly increased over other over-the-counter painkillers as compared to its share before the tragedy. Similarly, Arthur Andersen accounting firm was tracked in the web involved in the fall of the Enron Incorporation. After a thorough analysis of the incorporation, various mistakes were discovered and it was discovered Arthur Andersen auditors were involved with signing of flawed audits of the incorporation and later they shredded the documents to destroy evidence as a way of cover themselves. Andersen was considered to have obstructed justice and was prosecuted and convicted as a punishment for the unethical behavior though the conviction did not take long before it was overturned. The incorporation suffered financial losses as a result of the unethical behavior to an extent that it exists with no resemblance to the Big Five accounting Giant that existed in 1999. (Burton, 2010).
Bass, M and Avolio, B. (1994). Improving Organizational effectiveness through transformational leadership.Thousand Oaks,CA: Sage.
Bayles, M (1989). Professional ethics. (2nd edtn).Belmont,CA:Wadsworth.
Boyd, Wesley. 2005. ‘Examine the basis of your ethical values. (Profession)(Ethics Forum)(Column).’ American Medical News 48.25 (2005): 12. General One File. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. Available from: http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/gps/infomark.do?&contentSet=IAC-Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T003&prodId=IPS&docId=A166585304&source=gale&srcprod=ITOF&userGroupName=uphoenix&version=1.0
Burton, B. (2010). ‘Scientists atWesternWashingtonUniversitydescribe research in Tylenol therapy’. Biotech Week 10 Feb. 2010: 1155. General One File. Web. 17 Apr. 2010.
Moore, D & G.Loewenstein. (2004). ‘Self-interest, automaticity and psychology of conflict of interest.’ Social Justice Research, 17(2): 189- 202.doi:10.1023/B:SORE.0000027409.88372.b4.
Sama, Linda and Shoaf, Victoria. (2008). Ethical leadership for professions: fostering a moral Community. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(1/2): 39-46.
Zhong, C., Ku, G., Lount, R., & Murnighan, J. (2010). ‘Compensatory ethics’. Journal of Business Ethics, 92(3):323-339. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-009-0161-6.
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