What will it take to foster more ethical conduct in today's workplaces?
Ethical conduct in today’s work environment is extremely important as it not only affects the climate of the workplace but can also make a major impact on the output of the employees who work for you. As Kreitner and Kinicki state, “Improving workplace ethics is not just a nice thing to do; it also can have a positive impact on the bottom line” (Organizational Behavior, 2009, p. 25). But the discussion on how to foster more ethical conduct can oftentimes be a tricky question to answer. First, my firm belief is that you have to start from the top of an organization and work down. If a CEO or upper level manager acts unethically in his/her practices then how can you expect another employee to not react in the same manner? “Managers are potent role models whose habits and actual behavior send clear signals about the importance of ethical conduct. Ethical behavior is a top-to-bottom proposition…” (Organizational Behavior, 2009, p. 25). Secondly, an organization should maintain a strong and respected code of ethics that all employees would be required to adhere, train and reinforce in the workplace. Unethical behavior to get ahead can be a poison to any organization. “Behavior that is reinforced tends to be repeated, whereas behavior that is not reinforced tends to disappear. Ethical conduct too often is ignored or even punished while unethical behavior is rewarded.” (Organizational Behavior, 2009, p. 25). It should be the number one goal of any top management to foster a working environment where ethical behavior is rewarded and I feel that leading by example from the top down will result in a positive outcome in the workplace.
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