In business, besides obeying all laws and regulations, practicing good ethics means competing fairly and honestly, communicating truthfully, and not causing harm to others. (Bovee, Thill, and Mescon, 2007, p.65)
Most companies obey the laws and regulations, but some can take questionable steps to maximize profits and gain competitive advantages while knowingly break the law. To compete fairly and honestly a business should not knowingly deceive, intimidate, or misrepresent. Businesses need to gather information to get ahead of the competitors, but it is unethical to hire competitor’s employees to gain trade secrets. Ethics is defined as the principles and standards of moral behavior that are accepted by society as right versus wrong. (Bovee, Thill, and Mescon, 2007, p.63) If a business practices strong ethics and sets good examples their employees will follow suit. But, this can also go the other way if a company commits unethical acts.
Organizations that strongly enforce company codes of conduct and provide ethics training help employees recognize and reason through ethical problems. (Bovee, Thill, and Mescon, 2007, p.68) So when you are hired at a competitors company you may be faced with a question of “what type of knowledge would be ethical to share, and what types are unethical to share?” Any knowledge you have learned in school you are able to share, and will help to improve the company. This would be a more effective way to getting that promotion or pay raise we all love so much. Trade secrets though are meant to stay just that a secret. If, performing their company ethically they would not want to obtain that kind of information from you anyways. At the end of the day you want to be able to look in the mirror and say you had a positive impact on your company.
In conclusion, all business people from the CEO, to the managers, to the employees face tough ethical issues. Hopefully with a companywide code of ethics actively in place making the “right”...
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