It is often forgotten that businesses are there to serve people. Executives leading these organizations are at times consumed by the greed for money and power that they forget about the society they are serving. It is for this reason that ethics are emphasized upon. Without moral rules governing peoples’ lives, the innate selfish nature of man will lead society to turmoil.
The 2008 recession is a prime example of how a few corrupt people at the top can lead the entire world into trouble. The actions of those leading the financial services represented the complete opposite of what an ethical man would do. If man wants to be generous, then he will be willing to give from the meager amount that he has. However, otherwise the wealth of the entire world would not be able to satisfy the greed of even a few handfuls. The purpose of this topic is for managers to reflect on themselves and question whether they are doing more good than harm for others around them. Just like all other spheres of life, it is extremely important for people to apply ethical measures in their business practices to achieve benefit for all. If not done so, we see people jobless and homeless without anyone looking out for them. It is very easy to read about such conditions, but only those who have suffered know what it feels like.
The article, in light of some of the scandals of the recent recession, talks about ethical drift whereby moral standards of companies and managers start to wither away. In the drive for profit, people believe themselves to be most knowledgeable and capable and this makes them overlook their own behaviors and motives. With such practices in place it will hardly be possible to even recognize an ethical issue let alone do something about it. Even with regulation, corrupt intentions will only be looking for loopholes to maneuver the system and receive gains at the expense of others. Considering this phenomenon, change needs to come from the top. We need leaders that have an understanding of what is right and what ought to be done with the power people have invested in them. Teaching how to navigate ethical dilemmas in real life situations has to be a top priority.
During operations and real situations, the article states measures to be taken in a series of 6 steps. It has to start by recognizing the situation. In a corrupt environment it is easy to go with the flow and accept the wrong, however one should always be evaluation and questioning what’s going around. Change has to start from within first. Instead of putting the blame on someone else, take accountability as you are also part of the system and on your behalf try to better the situation. Find out what rules are to be applied and then apply them in real life situations. Starting with normal routine tasks such calling a subordinate to work when they have personal commitments to deal with, by putting yourself in another person’s shoes apply ethical rules. Finally, doing what is right never came easy. When people stand up for what’s right, they will always find someone pushing them down. Realize that there will be repercussion and take action (Bailey, 2013).
The article does a good job in defining what should be done to be more ethical in business practices. It brings up a very important point that it starts from within. If a person does not evaluate themselves and takes accountability for what they can control, then no ethics can prevail in the organization. Realizing that this will not be an easy path to follow is what most people forget. Doing the right thing does bring about obstacles, however it should be remembered that in the long run it does pay off. Also ethics has to be brought in from the top with the leaders in your organizations ensuring that it is taught to employees how to be more ethical in their daily lives. Only when a higher authority certifies what should be practiced will people lower in the chain follow.
Amongst all the correct statements made by the article, one flaw stands out. This article seems to be aimed at someone who is inclined towards being ethical and wants their business practices to be good. However, what about those who do not care about others and are just concerned with personal gain at the expense of others? Examples from the 2008 depression bring forward people who were least concerned with the welfare of others. They knew what they were doing and what consequences the world would have to face, and they still went on with their schemes. For someone who is inclined towards being ethical, this article is a good starting point in terms of practical application. On the other hand for those who have no sense of moral values, this article will just be another piece of information that doesn’t matter to them.
In response to the above mentioned flaw, it is important for the company to make sure that it hires people that are ethical and then it continuously works with them to maintain that personality. If people being brought in are corrupt themselves then they only ruin the environment for others and distort the values of the company. Job descriptions and interviews for hiring should highlight this critical element of the organization’s culture. After this it is the job of the people leading others to set a precedent that should be followed in all facets of company practices. From small decisions to larger ones when organizational leaders are seen being righteous, naturally others will want to emulate the same.
Although it is difficult to follow ethics and it requires effort on part of the organization, overtime these practices translate into customer loyalty, greater goodwill and a sense of pride for the company. People like buying from companies that have instilled in their employees a sense of what is right and what ought to be done. Also because of the tough times that people faced in the recession, they are much more careful with their money than they were before. Gaining that trust from the market has to do a lot with the culture and character of the organization. Word of mouth amongst customers is dominated about how certain companies and its people give high regards to moral standards and follow them. Being ethical only helps the organization and causes no harm (Lopez-Pacheco, 2013).
Bailey, S. (2013). Business leaders beware: ethical drift makes standards slip. Retrieved from http://www. forbes. com/sites/sebastianbailey/2013/05/15/business-leaders-beware-ethical-drift-makes-standards-slip/
Lopez-Pacheco, A. (2013). The advantages of being ethical. Retrieved from http://business. financialpost. com/2013/08/01/the-advantages-of-being-ethical/