Factors affecting Ethical Behavior

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 7 (1810 words) Published: May 22, 2006
Work ethics and ethical behavior

To understand what is the work ethics and what is meant by ethical behavior and what are the factors influencing the ethical behavior, we need to know the meaning of some key words.

Ethics is a philosophical term derived from the Greek word "ethos" meaning character or custom and can be defined as the code of moral principles that sets standards of bad or good or wrong or right in one's conduct.

Work ethics can be defined as carrying out one's business in a morally correct and honorable manner. It is all about doing the right thing, in the right way for the right reason.

Ethical behavior is that which is accepted to be right or good opposed to bad or wrong in the context of the governing moral code.

For example, is it ethical to pay a bribe to obtain a business contract in a foreign country? Is it ethical to allow your company to withhold 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 their career progress? Is it ethical to do personal business on company time? The list of examples could go on and on. Despite one's initial inclinations in response to these questions, the major point of it all is to remind organizations that the public-at-large is demanding that government officials, managers, workers in general, and the organizations they represent all act according to high ethical and moral standards. The future will bring a renewed concern with maintaining high standards of ethical behavior in organizational transactions and in the workplace.

In practical life, Good people do not want to work for an unethical company. They want to be part of a company that is committed to doing the right thing.

The best example that describes and explains the words ethics, work ethics and ethical behavior is being driven from the practical business. Halliburton as an international company working in the field of oil services has its own Code of Business Conduct that consists of the policies relating to the ethical and legal standards of conduct to be followed by employees and agents of the Company in the conduct of its business. The Code describes the standards of conduct expected from the employee and identifies some of the specific areas of law that are most likely to affect him while working for the Company.The policy of the Company is to comply with applicable law. Some Company policies are based on the requirements of applicable law and others are just good ethics and business sense.

Factors influencing ethical behavior

Three main factors are influencing ethical behavior and are linked to each other, these three factors are, the person, the organization and the environment.

The Person

Ethical beliefs of people in organizational settings and the factors that influence those beliefs are family influences, religious values, personal standards, and personal needs. If we say, "What's right depends on what the individual believes is right," we have absolutely no basis on which to condemn the actions of someone like Hitler. If a terrorist really believes that killing innocent people is right, how can we say that he's doing something wrong? If it all depends on the individual, why should our opinion count for more than his? Obviously, any system of ethics that can't condemn Hitler or terrorism leaves an enormous amount to be desired. For all practical purposes, making the individual the ultimate moral authority reduces ethical disagreements to something akin to disputes about taste, likes or dislikes.

Emotions even can be relevant to an ethical analysis. If we feel that lying is wrong, examining your feelings may show you what some of your reasons are. Your feelings may be based on specific points of objection--like your concern that the person being lied to is being manipulated. Or emotions may be important in ethics in a different way. Let's say we're weighing two...

References: 1- Internet site http://www.csc.gov.ph
2- Halliburton Code Of Business Conduct
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