Essay about Ethical Behaviour Policy And Practice In Organisations

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1.1 Defining ethical behaviour
Ethics is a philosophical term derived from the Greek word "ethos" meaning character or custom (Sims, 1992). Ethical behaviour is behaviour that is morally accepted as good and right, as opposed to bad and wrong (Wood, Zeffane, Fromholtz & Fitzgerald, 2006). An ethical dilemma requires a person to make a choice between competing sets of principles based on how morally good and right as opposed to how bad and wrong they are (Wood et al., 2006). While striving to always do right, – with this paradigm – sound ethical conduct will likely become second nature in today’s world (Zazaian, 2006).

1.2 Ethical behaviour in the modern organisations of today
Philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich once
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This is because when new employees enter an organisation, they have already formed views and need formally structured workplace opportunities to reconcile these pre-existing values otherwise they will continue to make decisions using their personal values (Lagan, 2006). In today’s globalised environment, employees are expected to make business decisions for themselves and organisations therefore need to make it very clear what they stand for, what their corporate values or principles are and, importantly, what behaviours are consistent with the organisation’s values – not their personal values (Lagan, 2006). An example of an organisation taking an ethical stance when appropriate is the company Johnson & Johnson when their products were taken off the shelves – due to a poisoning threat – regardless of the cost (Sims, 1992). This action highlighted one of Johnson & Johnson’s ethics which was social responsibility regardless of the company losing time and money in the process (Sims, 1992).

2.2 Ethical differences that exist between different national cultures
Today’s work environment is becoming increasingly international in character, with managers having to deal with international issues and considerations (Wood et al, 2006). Organisations must also make a commitment to
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