1. Why is it important that business people study business ethics?
The study of ethics is very important for people and their daily relationships both in private and social life. In business, the study of business ethics is also vital. Business ethics comprises organizational principles, values, and norms that may originate from individuals, organizational statements, or from the legal system that primarily guide individual and group behavior in business. The ability to recognize and deal with complex business ethics issues has become a significant priority in twenty-first century companies. It is important largely because it serves as a guide to the actions of business people while engaging with customers, co-workers, superiors and others. Business ethics generally tells one what to do as a professional when they are confronted with choices that affect their integrity and reputation. Thus how they should act, given certain circumstances. On some occasions, it is not easy to tell right from wrong. There are no clear cut distinctions between which the best decision is and which is not. Business people are faced with these ethical dilemmas frequently in their line of responsibility. Studying business ethics helps business people to identify ethical dilemmas and provide them with the needed skill in handling it.
Again, the study of business ethics has a significant contribution to the corporate image and success of the organization itself. Highly visible business ethics issues can influence the public’s attitudes toward the business and destroy trust if not properly handled. Making good ethical decisions are as important to business success as effective management, marketing and accounting decisions. Contrast to the popular opinion that ethics is an easy task to master by oneself, the difficulty that may be involved in decision making when one is confronted with an ethical dilemma can be daunting. Therefore having proper education and training in ethics will play a key role in assisting employees to make ethical decisions.
2. Discuss the role of leadership in understanding and executing ethical decision making in organizations.
According to Ferrell et al., Leadership is the ability or authority to guide and direct others toward a goal. Leadership is a basic requirement for developing an ethical corporate culture and reinforcing ethical decision making among employees. Effective and responsible leadership takes into account the ethical implications of each decision making under its supervision. Leadership plays a significant role in creating an ethical culture within an organization. Whenever the leader conducts him/herself in an ethically sound manner, the employees motivated naturally to emulate their leader. Leadership has a significant impact on ethical decision making because leaders have the power to motivate others and enforce the organization’s norms, policies, and viewpoints. Ethical leaders ensure that the goals set for their organization are met in a timely and ethical manner. They do not focus on results to the detriment and neglect of integrity and reputation. Leaders play a pivotal role in influencing an organization’s corporate culture and ethical posture. Leaders are also expected to provide ethical training opportunities for employees and supervise cases where ethical breaches occur in an open and transparent manner. Leadership must not act in a way to conceal unethical acts of employees whenever those acts are brought to their attention. In some cases leaders conclude that due to the harm that investigating an unethical issue might cause the organization, the best decision is to sweep them under the carpet. Whenever leadership acts in this way, it does neglect its responsibility to encourage ethical behavior among its workforce. In fine, leaders must show the way to ethical behavior and conduct in an organization through their