Six Scopes of Ethics in Business Management
Ethics deals with aspects of human behavior regarding the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and the goodness and badness of the motives and results of such actions. It is a branch of philosophy on values relating to human conduct.
Productivity, profit, benefits are no longer goals but consequences and rewards for actions. They measure the progress of the community toward the ultimate goal of improved living conditions for the majority, if not for all but should not be for only a few. Sustainable businesses adequate values and ethical conduct.
Business ethics applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. It means doing a legal, transparent and honest business acceptable to normal society. Such business culture generally involves honoring contracts, being accountable, practice honesty with regards to the quality and safety of products and services, may be summed up as honest business practices.
Examples of unethical business practice are false advertising, supplying expired goods, selling cigarettes, alcohol or drugs to minors and evading taxes. It is important that businesses create trust with customers, clients and partners in order to grow and sustain their position.
Workplace ethics are moral guidelines specific to a business environment. This applies to each employee at the workplace, the top management, the salesperson, the administration, the security personnel; all of them.
The behavior includes everything from honesty to decency, with customers and colleagues. Knowledge of and adherence to workplace ethics contribute to the individual’s value as an employee or business owner. As such, it leads to greater cohesiveness and longevity of the business.
Employee Management Ethics
Employee management ethics starts with hiring methods and end with firing practices within the organization. During employment all matters pertaining to the overall treatment of employees is relevant to the proper conduct of the business.
Ethical hiring practice entails assessing each candidate according to his or her capabilities and potential value to the company, rather than discriminatory or other superficial considerations. Treat employees with respect and dignity in the workplace and refrain from being abusive or degrading in managing the human resources.
Criticisms of job performance should be private while positive comments and encouragement may be done a little openly. A guide for the expected job performance should be made clear to the employee from the beginning with a job specification document if feasible.
Disputes among employees should be resolved in just, fair and impartial manner. Ethical practice needs to be observed if and when termination of employment is called for. Except in cases of extreme employee misconduct, management should observe due process to resolve the problem before termination is considered.
The employer must provide employees with adequate notice and opportunity for redress as stated in the appointment contract or as required by law. This area is quite well spelled out, but actual practice can always be improved.
Employees should be free from unwanted sexual advances or inappropriate comments. This is of particular concern for female employees, but men and individuals with alternative sexual orientation are also subject to this unwarranted behavior.
Employees should always treat each other with respect, and management should create an environment where sexual harassment shall not be tolerated.
Respect for diversity is important, especially in the Malaysian workplace environment. Employees should be free from comments and behavior offensive to their particular ethnic and cultural differences. The human being should not be discriminated by gender, caste, creed, race, ethnicity and religion.
Every employee must be treated with dignity and respect. The workplace environment should maintain a policy of tolerance for differences of religion, race, gender, sexuality and culture. Diversity ethics extends to hiring and promotion practices too. We see this breach in the Malaysian context more often than desirable.
Business owners, managers and employees should not wantonly disregard environmental concerns. This includes managing air, water and other resources to reduce or avoid all kinds of pollution. Any industrial activity should adhere to set guidelines as well as be made safe for the people concerned.
Needless disruption of the surrounding community and nature must be minimized. Environmental ethics also involves incorporating values of environmental sustainability into business practices.
With due observance of ethics and values in an organization, we can be assured of harmonious growth and sustained evolution of the business to its fullest potential.