Can Ethics Be Taught

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Can Ethics be Taught

With more people educated with higher degrees now more than ever, why are scandals relating to unethical behavior on the rise? It seems like every time I read the newspaper there is another scandal relating to some high-level executive involved in unethical behavior. We must ask ourselves if organizations follow any type of ethical principles or guidelines. It is common practice for organizations to gain success regardless of hurting others to increase the bottom line. We have been witness to the damage a few people have caused on an entire business. We know that all for-profit companies are out to make as much money as possible but can this be done using ethical methods and can ethics be taught. Many people argue that ethics is a way of life and cannot be taught. While those claims may be debatable, it does not take away from the reality that ethics is a major problem in the business world. In my view business ethics is something to be defined and managed by your company. From an individual perspective, ethical behavior comes from having learned from their surroundings, and reference groups in which they have grown and developed and not taught in school. What can be taught is the consequence that unethical behavior will bring. Employees should know that there will be repercussions for their actions and disciplinary measures will always be taken, no matter what the circumstances, on those guilty of unethical conduct. One way of dealing with unethical conduct in the workplace should be developing codes and standards of ethics that they expect each member to follow. Developing some key strategies of conducting business in an ethical manner are an incentive for business success.

For example ensuring ethical leadership, ethic support system, promoting culture of integrity, values and supporting your community will encourage ethical behavior. Every level of the organization should foster ethical leadership, especially senior executives and...
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