Leadership in the Workplace
Michael L. Murray
BUS 323: Business Ethics
Professor Steve Wynne JD.MBA
December 02, 2012
Business Ethics is the concept of conducting moral standards either written or unwritten that is beneficial to the employees and the current and future activities of the organization (Donaldson). Business ethics is important when dealing with an environment of diverse individuals of various socioeconomic, cultural, education, and religious backgrounds. Respect and the ability to function harmoniously are imperative for all that is involved in order to attain success within a company. In order to operate a corporation effectively there must be great leadership, ethical decision making, and ethical leadership that will cultivate a community of diligent and loyal employees. Issue
The perspective on the history of business ethics focuses on the micro and macro, as well as normative and descriptive impact of ethical decision making. One company’s ethical decisions such as Enron or Royal Ahold, can damage shareholders, employees, and communities on a macro level. Businesses need to remain open to learning more about how to build effective ethical initiative and understanding the importance of managing the internal organizational culture to maintain a commitment to integrity and transparency (DeGeorge). Perhaps the biggest impact on the practice of business ethics in the 1980s was the Defense Industry Initiatives. The Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct (DII) was developed to guide corporate support for ethical conduct. In 1986 eighteen defense contractors drafted principles for guiding business ethics and conduct. The organization has since grown to nearly fifty members. This effort established a method for discussing best practices and working tactics to link organizational practice and policy to successful ethical compliance (DeGeorge). In 1991, organizational ethical guidelines that set the tone for organizational compliance programs were established by The Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations (FSGO). The guidelines focused on firms taking action to prevent and detect business conduct in cooperation with government regulations (DeGeorge). This demanded companies to develop corporate values, code of ethics, and preventing misconduct. Prior to this movement, reports of fraud in financial reporting and issues related to sexual harassment and discrimination were widespread. A decade later, the interest in business ethics grew tremendously. The 2004 amendment to the FSGO required that a business’s governing authority be well informed about its ethics program with respect to content, implementation, and effectiveness. The board was required to oversee the discovery of risks and to design, implement, and modify approaches to deal with those risks. Personal character and ethical leadership will continue to be key ingredients to improving business ethics in the future (DeGeorge). Great leadership is important in executing the proper morale that is beneficial to the goals the business is striving to obtain. Good leaders are cultivated and groomed to have the ability to direct, guide and lead others. To be a great leader, a person must be able to influence others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent (Rush). Great leaders are continually working and studying to improve leadership skills in order to inspire workers into higher levels of teamwork. Values, beliefs, ethics, and character play an important part in the type of leader a person will become. Leadership development is an un-ending process of self study, education, training and experience. Becoming a great leader encompass four major factors: Leader, followers, communication, and situation. As a leader, the individual has to have an understanding of who they are, what they know, and what they can do. A...
Cited: “Corporate Reform Bill Passed,” CNN, July 25, 2002,
October 16, 2007.
DeGeorge, Richard T. (1982) Business Ethics, New York: Macmillan, 5th edition.
Donaldson, Thomas (1994) “Toward a Unified Conception of Business
Ethics: Integrative Social Contracts Theory,” Academy of Management Review 19(April), 252-
Ferrell, O.C., John Fraedrich, and Linda Ferrell (2008) Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making
and Cases. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document