Definition Of Ethics

Submitted By lolo0828
Words: 3625
Pages: 15

Chances are, if you polled a group of people to ask their definition of “ethics” most would tell you it is the difference in doing what is right versus doing what is known to be wrong. It is different than rules and laws, in that ethics is based on morals and character, not what is lawful or punishable, so to speak. Our text defines ethics as a set of beliefs about right and wrong behavior. Webster’s dictionary defines ethics as “rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.” The Ethical Executive focuses on how ethics are applied in business. Business ethics can be thought of as written and unwritten codes of rules and values used to govern company decisions. A company’s code of ethics is used to identify what principles are important to that company setting the standards for determining the difference between good and bad behavior. The ability to recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas is a significant priority in today’s business world. There have been too many well-publicized scandals over the past 10-20 years that have resulted from business deception and fraud, calling for improved business ethics and corporate responsibility. It can be achieved by creating an ethical culture and establishing a corporate code of ethics. There are many benefits for a corporation to implement an ethical culture: employee commitment, investor loyalty, and customer satisfaction. With the execution of all of these comes greater financial performance.
An employee’s perception that their company has a positive ethical culture leads to better performance and productivity. The more the company is dedicated to taking care of its employees and community, the more likely their employees will take care of the company.

According to the National Business Ethics Survey, 79 percent of employees agree that ethics is important in continuing to work for their company. The ethical culture seems to matter to employees and a company’s employees are their most valuable asset.
Most investors today have become more and more concerned about the ethics, social responsibility, and reputation of the companies in which they invest. Companies that maintain a positive ethical culture tend to have better efficiency, productivity, and profits. On the other hand, as we have seen, ethical scandals can cause negative publicity, fines, and lower stock prices. Investors are looking for companies that will not only make them money, but companies they can trust.
It has been said that it takes far more energy and resources to get a customer back after you have lost him than it is to keep him. Business ethics provides companies with a competitive advantage, customers learn to trust ethical companies and will remain loyal to them. People like to do business with companies they feel comfortable with and can trust.
Being ethical pays off. When a company puts forth the time and effort to create a positive ethical environment they gain employee commitment, investor loyalty, and customer satisfaction which all lead to increased profits. With increased pressure being put on companies to become more ethical and socially responsible, many companies realize that ethics is another competitive advantage to become more profitable.
The authors of The Ethical Executive present in a unique and direct manner, forty-five ethical traps that are prominent throughout the business world today. Their presentation is

unique from all other business ethics books in that they do not provide us with rules to follow, they do not try to teach us “how” to be ethical, or even give us a twelve step program that can be used to diffuse each ethical situation we may encounter. They simply make us aware that these traps exist. “With awareness, illusions are just magic tricks that seem obvious. Without awareness, life’s illusions trap us and distort our perception.” This clear and direct approach of identifying the danger,