Ethics in the Workplace:

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What is Business Ethics?

"The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally it's coming to know what is right or wrong in the workplace and doing what is right – this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders" (McNamara, 2006).

In the past few years with the media highlighting business scandals and organization misconduct, a greater emphasis has been placed on organizations to conduct their business in an ethical manner and to develop formal ethics and compliance programs for all members of the organization. However, an organization can not rely on only these formal ethics and compliance programs that have been developed to ensure that the organization conducts all aspects of its business in an ethical manner. It must rely on other sources to help develop an ethical culture. One of the concerns a business has is how its leaders handle ethics in the workplace and what they must do to ensure that the stakeholders in the workplace act in an ethical manner. This paper seeks to address this role of the leader in influencing and guiding ethical behavior in the workplace.

Leaders – Ethics by Example

A business's approach to ethics depends on the actions of its chief executives and its managers. It is set by the qualities and styles that characterize how the organization behaves from how people are greeted at the reception to how the smallest insignificant task is accomplished.

A business's values reflect those at the top. How management interacts with its employees, with each other, and with outside sources builds relationships. As the business changes so do all these relationships. Employees bring to an organization values, ideas, and aspirations of many kinds. These values, ideas, and aspirations are an important part of any organization in helping it develop. However, they do need to be managed. Leaders of the organization need to help guide these ideas and values....
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