Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines ethics as “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation” or “a theory/system of moral values” (Merriam-Webster Online). Everyone struggles through these moral decisions between right and wrong on a daily basis whether it is with their families, at school, by themselves, or in the workplace. It is all about the choices we make and the thought process that we go through while we are making these decisions. All of these decisions come down to one fundamental question: How should I live my life? Answering this question is unavoidable. Either we go through life clearly answering this question and many others, or we implicitly answer them by the choices we make each and every day (DesJardins and McCall 4).
Most organizations contain a hierarchical structure consisting of high ranking officials, or stakeholders, that oversee the different branches in the organization. Included in these titles is the President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chairman of the Board. These officers are responsible for determining the fundamental purpose of the organization, what they stand for, and how the organization is ultimately run. With these officers as the backbone, they decide what type of ethical policies and strategies the organization and its employees will abide by. Some very large companies have failed tremendously in this area of ethics over the years including ENRON, Tyco, Adelphia, and Worldcom. These companies have demonstrated either very little or zero ethics in their goal to become the front runners in their respective business worlds. Most companies do contain a set of ethical rules and regulations which determine how the company is ran, but in the end, the companies with strong ethical backgrounds and ethical strategies are more successful overall than companies that have weak ethical backgrounds and strategies.... [continues]
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