Ethical and Unethical Behaviors
30th, November 2012
Factors that Influence Whether a Person Behaves Ethically or Unethically
Ethical behavior and unethical behavior are different aspects of behavior, which also vary from place to place. If a person exhibits ethical behavior, it means they uphold good conduct and acceptable morality. On the other hand, unethical behavior is whereby a person behaves in a manner that is not morally acceptable in society. In the work place, ethical behavior is manifest in professionalism. Therefore, professional behavior equally has its own code of ethics. Professional behavior requires one to portray high level of respect, integrity, and discretion in their job.
In a company, if one behaves ethically, it means that they are adhering to the rules and regulations set by the company. For one to be considered as acting ethically they must do the right thing despite what their colleagues or boss might think of them. The best interests of the company are considered when employees act ethically. In case of disagreements, one is supposed to disagree with their seniors ethically. In the office, it is unethical to talk about the seniors behind their backs. It is more ethical to face them and address the issue right on.
Unethical behavior is possible for employees or even their seniors. However, seniors are supposed to be employees’ example and so should behave ethically at all times. A manager may be termed unethical if they attempt to use coercion to make an employee perform a task or adhere to their orders against an employee’s will. In addition, corruption is an unethical behavior, which is highly discouraged at the work place. Employees should not disclose company secrets or receive bribes, as this is detrimental to the whole company. Generally, ethical behavior is about adhering to the standards that are set forth, maintaining integrity when it comes to the quality and type of work done, and by always advocating for the work that is being done (Deckop 2006).
Role of Managers in Encouraging Ethical Behavior in Multi-Cultural Organizations
In every company, each person has the role of adhering to the company’s set of rules and regulations, including abiding by the code of ethics of the company. However, managers of companies perform a higher job than the employees. Managers and supervisors are responsible for raising the employees’ awareness about the code of ethics. This way, the employees will have a full understanding of what the code of ethics expects of them so that they can adhere to it more easily. It is important for employees to have a clear understanding of the company’s ethical requirements, in order to put them into practice (Deckop 2006).
Multicultural organizations are the ones, which have employees of different cultural backgrounds. These employees mostly have different worldviews, values, and beliefs. These will therefore have different ways of acting and thinking, as their indigenous societies have cultured them. It can be hard for these employees to adapt to a different culture in the organization, different from the one they are used to. This is why such companies must have a harmonized code of ethics, which accommodates the various cultures of the employees. It is therefore the role of the managers to ensure that the structured code of ethics accommodates all the employees (Deckop 2006).
Normally, managers are charged with the overall management of the company. They therefore must ensure that the employees adhere to the company code of ethics. This way the managers will be performing their role of enhancing corporate behavior. Managers therefore need to be vigilant and active regarding matters to do with ethical and unethical behaviors in the company. They must supervise and keenly observe that all employees comfortably adhere to the code of ethics, in order to promote a uniform organizational culture.
Specific Ways Managers can Encourage Ethical Behavior
Organizational ethics is the concern of the human resources department in organizations. Thus human resource managers are the ones charged with ensuring the adherence to the corporate ethics. Managers today adopt a variety of ways in dealing with the emphasis of ethics in their organizations (Deckop 2006).
First, a manager can encourage ethical behavior by sanctioning those employees who exhibit unethical behavior. If this is done, the other employees will learn from their sanctioned colleagues, and therefore learn to always act ethically. This in turn motivates the employees to adhere to the code of ethics, lest they also are sanctioned.
Organizational ethics is an aspect of strategic management issue; therefore, most managers find it imperative to integrate this in the different tasks of the company. This should be fitted in the company’s tasks. For instance, managers need to ensure that all organizational tasks performed by employees are in an alignment with the company’s code of ethics. Team building activities, among others, must observe this (Deckop 2006).
In addition, managers should also undertake trainings for all the employees on the matter of organizational ethics. Since the code of ethics is the way through which organizational behavior is standardized, managers must invest in this as it is a worth investment. Possessing a code of ethics is the first step in the maintenance of a positive organizational culture. Therefore, managers ensure that ethics experts train the employees on ethics. Additionally, managers themselves lead by example. They uphold high ethical standards as the employees look up to them. Nonetheless, every person is responsible for ethical standards at the individual level as well as the organizational level.
Deckop, J 2006, Deckop Human Resource Management Ethics, IAP, London.
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