Ethics and moral issues in business become factors that individuals encounter at several times in one’s daily life. An individual becomes greeted each morning in the newspaper, confronted in the fundamentals of one’s daily jobs, and bided good night on the evening news. In a professional setting, a person’s behavior to act in a manner that upholds the good of society becomes expected. To understand ethical and moral issues in business, their differences must become imperative, the differences between personal ethics and business ethics become essential, and examples of common ethical problems in businesses become important. Ethics become extremely important to everyone in the workplace, and are the beliefs, values, and morals that an individual possess. “The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation,” defines ethics according to according to Merriam-Webster, Incorporated (2010).
These values, belief, and morals become usually instilled in the individual from family, church, society, peer groups, profession, or other sources. A variety of ethical issues that becomes apparent within various organizations today include “conflict of interest,” “discrimination,” “harassment, Sexual and otherwise,” “recruitment and staffing,” “customer confidence issues,” and “corporate resources. ” These ethical issues occur within today’s business environments and have a tremendous effect on organizations. Two “Moral principles, teachings, or conduct,” defines moral according to Merriam-Webster, Incorporated (2010).
A variety of moral issues that becomes apparent within various organizations today include “falsification of facts, deception, concealing information,” “misrepresenting correspondence or publications,” “ the swaying of people's feelings,” “cheating, rule-bending, misleading people,” “exploitation of weakness and vulnerability,” “excessive profit,” “greed,” “resistance to reasonable investigation,” “recklessness or irresponsible secrecy and lack of transparency and use of authority, power, reputation,” “breaking confidentiality,” “lack of compassion and humanity,” and “unfairness. Several influences define personal Ethics, which include family influences, religious beliefs, culture affects, personal experiences, and internal reflection. Parents or guardians dictate one’s morality during the early years of an individual’s life. They become the first to voice and demonstrate ethical boundaries. Religious beliefs become important by allowing a person to accept an established set of moral rules.
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By following these moral rules, an individual behave ethically with the promises of rewards in the afterlife as a motivation. Culture dictates the ethical norms simply because of the customs and traditions in the society surrounding him or her, and becomes ingrained in an individual’s psyche. Personal experiences shift one’s ethics, which become events that happen in an individual’s life. Emotional and personal experiences cause changes one’s beliefs. Internal reflection becomes developed by one’s inward feelings.
Three does something that goes against one’s moral code, a feeling of guilt or shame results. When an individual does something that fits into one’s ethical idea of “right” he or she becomes proud or happy. Business ethics become what constitute a business to its employees, customers, the community, vendors doing business with them, and all business relationships. Although guidelines, basic laws, and rules became created to maintain a business, the codes of conduct enforce ethics, and make an organization successful.
When values in the workplace become viewed as fair and just with a collective willingness to provide services and products in an ethical manner; trust and confidence becomes stronger. When management adheres to company ethics, it sends a strong message to employees and often set strong ethical standards for what the company stands for. The Madoff investment scandal that became the largest “Ponzi scheme” ever committed by an individual becomes an example of ethical and moral issues in business.
Money laundering, securities fraud, perjury, mail fraud, wire fraud, and making false fillings with the SEC became the federal crimes that Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty. “He actually managed to fool 4,800 clients. None of this money was ever invested; it was simply deposited into his business account. The losses of his clients were almost $65 billion and now Madoff faces a lifelong sentence and up to $170 billion in restitution,” according to (Articles base, 2010). Four
The Enron failure that caused thousands of people to lose their jobs and pensions because of unethical practices by management becomes a prime example of personal and business ethical problems. “The SEC has uncovered several instances of financial fraud committed by high-ranking executives at Enron, and many of the executives have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering, securities fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy,” according to (Lawyer Shop, 2008). Appropriate business ethics become vitally important in businesses; both large and small.
Several ethical issues may arise within an organization, but acquiring the right training, policies, procedures, and guidelines available and comprehensive to all employees, businesses will aid in a decreasing amount of ethical and moral issues in the workplace.
- Articlesbase. com, (2010), retrieved from http://www. articlesbase. com/law-articles/how-the-madoff-investment-scandal-was-uncovered-927189. html
- Lawyershop. com, (2008) retrieved from http://www. lawyershop. com/practice-areas/criminal-law/white-collar-crimes/securities-fraud/lawsuits/enron
- Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, (2010), Merriam-Webster Dictionary, retrieved
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