Discuss the different factors influencing ethical behavior at the workplace.

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 7 (2013 words) Published: May 13, 2006
Introduction

Ethical behavior is that accepted as morally "good" and "right," as opposed to "bad" or "wrong," in a particular setting. Is it ethical to hide information that might discourage a job candidate from joining your organization? Is it ethical to ask someone to take a job you know will not be good for his or her career progress? Is it ethical to ask so much of someone that they continually have to choose between "having a 'career' and having a 'life'?" The list of questions can go further more, but an important point remains: The public is increasingly demanding that people in organizations and the organizations themselves all act in accordance with high ethical and moral standards. The purpose of ethics in business is to direct business men and women to abide by a code of conduct that facilitates, if not encourages, public confidence in their products and services. But what is considered ethical behavior may depend on the factors that define and affect ethical behavior. These factors may be personal factors or organizational factors or environmental factors.

1) Personal factors

1.1) Family

Can ethics be taught? At some point in life, ethics must be taught. People are not born with innate desires to be ethical or to be concerned with the welfare of others. The role of the family includes teaching children a code of ethical behavior that includes respect for parents, siblings, and others. The family bears chief responsibility for ensuring that children will receive the necessary education and moral guidance to become productive members of society. The basic values such as honesty, self-control, concern for others, respect for legitimate authority, fidelity, and civility must be passed from one generation to the next, a fundamental process of the family. The breakdown of the family is associated with some terrible social problems.

1.2) Religion

People in our country probably associate ideas of right and wrong with religions more than anything else. This is understandable since one of the main functions of religion is to advise people how to live. For me personally I believe that you can't be ethical unless you're religious.

1.3) Personality and Personal Values

An individual's values and morals will also influence his or her ethical standards. A person who stresses honesty will behave very differently from another who does not respect other people's property. A key personality variable which may affect the ethical behavior of an individual is his/her locus of control. The locus of control of an individual affects the degree to which he perceives his behavior as influencing his life. An individual has an internal locus of control if he/she believes that he/she can control the events in his/her life. As a result, internals are likely to take responsibility for the outcomes of their behavior. Conversely, an individual with an external locus of control believes that fate or luck or other people affect his life. Such an individual is likely to believe that external forces cause him to behave either ethically or unethically. Overall, internals are more likely than externals to make ethical decisions, are less willing to cave in to pressure to behave unethically, and will resist hurting others, even when ordered to do so by a superior.

1.4) Situational Factors

People may behave unethically in certain situations because they may see no way out. For example, a manager may record ficti-tious sales in order to cover losses within his area of responsibility. As example, debt is a major reason why individuals behave unethically. Since indebtedness is likely to lead to unethical conduct, Muslim lenders are encouraged to show leniency to debtors. At the same time, debtors are urged to repay debts promptly.

1.5) Peer Influences

As children grow and are admitted to school, they are influenced by the peers with whom they interact daily. Thus, if a child's friends engage in drawing graffiti, the child...
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