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Ethical Communication is an essential part of business

Discuss this statement using ethical communication issues as examples.

Positive Aspects of Ethical Communication

In simple words, ethical communication include ensuring the honesty in every communication, not discussing personal or business situations of others in front of third party or public and maintain the confidentiality of private information. The term ethical communication can be explained as the nurturing and development of relationships and building communities across and within cultures, contexts, media and channels. Ethical communication is considered to be fundamental to responsible thinking and thoughtful decision- making (Ferri, 2014). It also covers accepting the responsibility for the messages conveyed to others along with the long- term and short- term consequences of such communication. In the organizational context, the companies that aim to be ethically and socially responsible are required to make ethical communication their priority both in its interactions with the public and inside the company. Therefore, ethical communication acts as the essential part of the business.

There are a number of facts that support the fact that ethical communication plays an important role in the business. Ethical communication is useful for making the employees understand what is considered to be the ethical practices by the business. There should be daily communication of the ethical behaviors on part of the business along with the recognition of the employees who act in an ethical manner. This assists in praising such employees for the job done and further helps in setting the ethical standards for other employees in the business (Hänninen and Karjaluoto, 2017). Failing in terms of establishing ethical communication can have a severe impact on the business relationships as lack of respect for a person is indicted by it and puts the personal integrity of the person into question. This, in turn, results in the creditability and reliability of the individual by people. Its importance in business is due to the fact that that if the values and belief system of the business is compromised then there is no basis of integrity. The characteristics of ethical communication are authenticity (avoiding a false image or façade) inclusion (attempting to experience the perception of other person), confirmation (valuing the integrity and worth of other individual as a human being), spirit of mutual equality (avoidance of the use of superiority or power) (Ni, Wang, De la Flor and Peñaflor, 2015).

The importance of ethical communication is also due to the reason that it is composed of three main factors i.e.  honesty, transparency and respect in the organization. All the three factors are very essential part of workplace communication. When a company believes in honest communications then trust is built and assists in the identification and working on the intersection between power, authority and teamwork. If honesty is not there, then communication fails at its basic purpose. Moreover, during the communication in the workplace, transparency is regarded as the key (Catellani, 2016). Firstly the message and its purpose should be set clearly in mind along with being lawful. Even when the point raised is wrong, it should be willingly accepted thereby showing the degree of honesty. In this way, the colleagues get a chance to get a lesson from such mistakes. Ethical workplace communication also gives prime importance to respect. There are a number of ways as a result of which lack of understanding leads to the lack of proper respect in the workplace. For example, if there are gender or cultural differences in the workplace, then a communication plan should be established with the help of which an equitable bridge can be built instead on relying upon the outdated hierarchies that stymie communication. In other words, healthy work environment is only the result of the existence of ethical communication in the workplace. Therefore, ethical communication is essential for the purpose of fostering respectful and positive working relationships both within the workplace and between other and the workplace (Craft, 2018).

Negative Aspects of Ethical Communication

Another view point for this statement provides that the existence of ethical communication in the workplace results in a number of ethical communication issues which can harm the interest of the business. The concept of ethics is basically related with the responsibility of the person to communicate in a fair manner without any bias. Legal violations can also arise as a result of violations of ethics in communication.  The breach of confidentiality or communication of lies purposely regarding any individual or organization can be regarded as both ethical and legal issue (Martin and Strawser, 2017). For example, legal violations of communication are slander can lead to sanctions by criminal ramifications or governing bodies. The businesses need to make communication regarding their goods and services on the basis of which its sales are determined (Hanifa and Cahaya, 2016). However, it faces a number of ethical communication issues at the time of marketing to children as they are highly impressionable. The example of another ethical communication issue is related to stereotyping and being offensive. Insecurity is increased among the target audience through stereotyping regarding their own selves, minority group or particular classification with which they are labelled (Pearson, 2017).

 On one hand, ethical communication demands honest communication and on the other hand, it makes it difficult for the management of the organization to establish open communication with the employees due to cultural sensitivity and free speech issues (Roth, 2014). For example, while communicating with the employees who are highly productive, the management should not only cover the positive aspects but also highlights the negative points of the employee. Just because the employee is an above average performer, it does not mean that their weak points should be hidden or ignored. Moreover, the employees whose productivity are below average should also be complemented with their positive points while highlighting their weak points (Jin, et. al. 2018). Ethical communication issue also arises when some points are covered in communication that is plagiarized resulting in unethical business practices. Ethical communication issue takes place when the communication is factually accurate, non- deceptive but is not complete. For example, the advertisements highlights the advantages and features of the product but such information is not complete and if any consumer relies on such information then the trust in the company is damaged (Moshiri and Cardon, 2014).

The aim of this essay was to examine the ethical communication is an essential part of the business. Ethical communication plays an important role for the survival of the business in the market for a longer period of time.  There are arguments for both for and against the fact that ethical communication is an essential part of the business. While favoring the statement, the positive aspects of ethical communication can be effectively analyzed. On the other hand, the negative aspects have been analyzed while going against the statement. If ethical communication will not be established then the business relationships will be severely impacted. However, undertaking ethical communication also results in a number of ethical communication issues which are then required to be dealt by the business. Therefore, there are both positive and negative sides of ethical communication which are to be taken into consideration by the businesses (Martin, 2017). The ethical communication covers both the aspects namely communication of the business with the customers and communication of the business with the employees, stakeholders, investors, etc.

Conclusion

Therefore, it can be concluded that ethical communication include ensuring the honesty in every communication, not discussing personal or business situations of others in front of third party or public and maintain the confidentiality of private information. Arguments can be provided both in favor and against the statement that ethical communication plays an essential part in the business. Ethical communication is useful for making the employees understand what is considered to be the ethical practices by the business. On the other hand, ethical communication also results in a number of issues which, in turn, reduces its importance in the business context. Ethical communication issue takes place when the communication is factually accurate, non- deceptive but is not complete. For example, the advertisements highlights the advantages and features of the product but such information is not complete and if any consumer relies on such information then the trust in the company is damaged.

References

Catellani, A., 2016. Ethical communication in a connected world. Journal of Communication Management, 20(1).pp.432.

Craft, J.L., 2018. Common thread: The impact of mission on ethical business culture. A case study. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(1), pp.127-145.

Ferri, G., 2014. Ethical communication and intercultural responsibility: A philosophical perspective. Language and Intercultural Communication, 14(1), pp.7-23.

Hanifa, A. and Cahaya, F.R., 2016. Ethical communication on society issues: a story from Indonesia. Journal of Global Responsibility, 7(1), pp.39-55.

Hänninen, N. and Karjaluoto, H., 2017. The effect of marketing communication on business relationship loyalty. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 35(4), pp.458-472.

Jin, Y., Austin, L., Eaddy, L., Spector, S., Reber, B. and Espina, C., 2018. How financial crisis history informs ethical corporate communication: Insights from corporate communication leaders. Public Relations Review, 44(4), pp.574-584.

Martin, J., 2017. Ethical communication in a retail banking call center sales position. Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 22(S7), p.1.

Martin, J.M. and Strawser, M.G., 2017. Transforming the capstone: Transformative learning as a pedagogical framework and vehicle for ethical reflection in the capstone course. The Journal of Faculty Development, 31(1), pp.25-34.

Moshiri, F. and Cardon, P., 2014. The state of business communication classes: A national survey. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 77(3), pp.312-329.

Ni, L., Wang, Q., De la Flor, M. and Peñaflor, R., 2015. Ethical Community Stakeholder Engagement in the Global Environment: Strategies and Assessment. Public Relations Journal, 9(1), p.2.

Pearson, R., 2017. Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (pp. 111-131). Routledge.

Roth, S., 2014. The things that go without saying: on performative differences between business value communication and communication on business values. International Journal of Business Performance Management, 15(3), pp.175-191.

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