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Ethics Training In Organization

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Question:

Is Formal Ethics Training in Organizations Merely Cosmetic?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Ethics is concerned as the assessment of good and bad moral standards. It facilitates to identify the nature of an individual or actions. Ethics is enhancing actively by using various theories and experience. Ethics in not applicable on an individual behavior but also it have impact on the business.  Business ethics involve norms and standards of conduct governing in the place of work. This essay will be reflected in against way of formal ethics training in organization merely cosmetics.  The training of ethics in the workplace is able to create the positive environment at the workplace. As consequences, it has been found that the morale of staff is enhanced and they get ready to help each other. It will be reflecting different theories and models which will help to define the importance of ethics training in the organization. The model can be management morality, ethical decision and behavior and moral philosophy. There are so many advantages of ethics training in the organization and this essay will show the necessity of ethic’s training within the organization. It has so many advantages. It is necessary for the organization to implement the training of formal ethical programming so that company as well as employee can avoid potential scandals and liabilities

Ethical decisions are not that much simple, the definition of ethical is complex. As it has been studied, philosopher argues about the right decision of making ethical decision. In the situation of conflicts, normative frameworks should be involved.

It has been analyzed that normative theory has concepts that is the right and the morally good. The concept of right refers roughly behave and comprised with two concepts of action and duty which is considered as wrong not to do. On the other hand the concept of morally good refers smoothly behave which comprises with value and kindness which is considered as the right way to perform ones job. Normative theories have two concepts that are Teleological and Deontological. It included consequentiality framework and deontological framework which consisting the benefits and harms to society of a possible decision (Treviño, Nieuwenboer, and Kish-Gephart, 2014). Along with that deontological framework included the principles of ethics such as rights and justice which is necessary to emphasize the integrity of morality. To being ethical, it is necessary to aware about moral awareness. Moral awareness is considered as the tendency to pay attention in ambiguous situations with moral behavior. It makes aware someone from harm situation against ideal self state (MacDougall, Bagdasarov, Johnson and Mumford, 2015).

Ethical training is necessary for every organization because it is the way which makes aware employees of particular company about the ethics of the company. Psychological approach helps to decide that what is right or what is wrong. It has been stated by Delaney and Sockell, (2012), that decision maker should engage in the process of ethical judgments. Employees of the organization should aware about the ethical nature of the situation.

  Ethical Awareness              Ethical Judgment               Ethical Action

Initial step as per psychological approach is ethical awareness which include ethical decision making. With the help of ethical awareness, a person identifies a situation of issues are one that arise concern of ethical and must be though about in ethical terms. This step should be taken as an important form bot for granted. It has been stated by Kaptein, M., 2015, that sometimes people are not aware about their surroundings that they are facing an issue with overtones of ethical. For ethical judgments process it is necessary to aware about the issue as an ethical one. To concise ethical awareness one example of work related will be shown below.

 


For instance, if I appointed in a financial service industry.  One afternoon, my manager calls me and says that he has to leave early to attend urgent function of his family, and for this he give me responsibility to be on the lookout for an important check that my boss wants signed before the accomplishment of the day. He tells me to do favor for me which was simply sign on the check by his name and forward it to his boss. For me it is a straightforward request. But if I got trained formal ethical training, I would immediately aware about the ethical situation. My manager asked me to engage in forgery which is seriously ethical lapse, especially in ten term of financial industry where is the sign of an individual keep a lot of importance and trust (Ford and Richardson, 2013). With the help of formal ethical training manager of the organization can encourage employees to be more ethically aware through giving training and by sharing issue of employees regarding the ethical issues they are likely to face and try to know the reason that why these issues are becoming so ethically problematic.

Figure 1: Ethics decision and behavior model

Source :( IBE, 2016)

Ethical decision making defines the process of analyzing and opting among alternatives in an effective consistent with ethical principles. The above model of ethical decision making is shown that the characteristics of an individual and organizational has some stages which involve moral awareness, moral judgments, intent and moral behavior. It has been stated by IBE, an ethic based culture will be promoted by the governance of ethics program. It works to engage ethical values in the decision of ethical behavior, operations and process. Subsequently ethic’s training instills important ethical values such as integrity and accountability within its employees (Warren, et. al., 2014).

 


As per APS physics, there are some case studies which is belong to ethical issues and show the requirement of formal ethics training. The topic of case studies is conflict of interest, data acquisition, mentoring, health and safety and educational concern. In the context of conflict of interest, it has been found by APS Task Force on Ethics Education that there are so many situations has been arisen in which we could stand to benefit personally. Appointment, promotion, demotion, appraisal, salary increment are considered from the perspective of conflict of interest. It is required for the organization to have the knowledge about the ethics training so that one can make aware oneself about ethic behavior and can take action against any issues. Data is the big asset of any organization and it is necessary for every employee to know the importance of data of the company and an individual. It is important to keep the information with full of privacy so that important information could not get revealed out (Svensson, Wood and Callaghan, 2015). The important information of the company in the wrong hands can be wide issues to its future. Formal ethical training is not merely cosmetic, it helps to learn trainee about ethics of the company in which importance of important components are included. In the case study of educational concern it has been observed that education concern can be less experience, less status and less education. These can take form of conflicts within an organization. Formal ethics training is the training which helps them to learn that each employee has responsibility and he or she has been hired for working. Therefore, it is important to give respect to others otherwise punishment will be there. These kinds of things should be involved in the formal ethics training so that one could not get defamed because of less status (Warren, Gaspar and Laufer, 2014). Health and safety is prior in comparison of anything else. It has been mentioned in the case study of APS Task Force on Ethics Education that it is essential to have training that prepares employee of the organization for the hazards that they may face during performing their task. Formal ethics training is the concept which involves laws and regulations regarding healthy and safety.

 


There are so many activities which is done in many organization unethically. The examples of unethical company are Enron, Satyam, Google and many more.  It has been while researching that the leaders of Enron are involved in the practice of malicious to gain short term financial goals. Financial tweaking has been done by them to enhance the performance Enron. Unethical practices such as sale million of dollars stock at a premium price and force employees to do work overtime is done by Enron which is considered as a part of unethical behavior. Due to these huge sales, the prices of stock began to drop. Kenneth Lay is the manager of Enron who promised false commitment to his employees. He is the liable person behind the bankruptcy of Enron. From the mentioned case it has been proved that Kenneth Lay is not a moral manager because of his unethical behavior such as tweaking performance.

Apart from that there is another case of Satyam Company which is found in engaged with unethical behavior. It is the company that found in India’s biggest accountancy fraud. It is the case regarding corporate governance and fraudulent auditing practices not only with auditors but also chartered accountant. It is a fraud which is considered as unethical behavior because it misled the market by showing the healthy position of Satyam. It has been made fake invoice and bills to show the well positioned of company in outside. Due to his nature the leader of its company B Ramalinga Raju, his two brothers and seven others to seven years in prison in the fraud case of Satyam.

Figure 2: detecting and handling ethical issues

Source: (Lefkowitz, 2017).

It has been found in survey that if the company handles the situations of ethical issues will be successful in comparison of those companies that detect ethical issues. Formal ethical training is the boon for organization because it enhances the productivity of the employee. An ethical issue is a component of necessity in the organization, there is requirements to handle effectively.  

A business is considered as ethics if business tries to accomplish the task between pursuing objectives of economics and social obligations. Business ethics is necessary because it helps to develop trust so that an organization can flour profitably and maintain good reputations. Company sounds ethical if the relationship of company with their stakeholders is effective and if their stakeholders have trust on them. It has been observed during research that there must be effective corporate governance to control or remove the unethical issues and their activities. Unethical issues can be bribery, coercion, insider training, conflicts of interest, and unfair discrimination, accumulation of profits and political donations and gifts. Ethical organizations are based on the fair result and principles and behave towards their employee remains equal. There are some categories has been discussed of code of ethics for employees (Trevino and Nelson, 2016). In first category it has been mentioned that employee should be a dependable organization citizen (Mulhearn, Steele, Watts, Medeiros, Mumford and Connelly 2017).

In second category of business code of ethics describe that employee of the organization should not do that work which comes under unlawful and unfair. To maintain the business ethics it is necessary for the employee to be good to customers and suppliers. A positive reputation of an organization helps to keep the customers and retain employees. With the help of interesting employees who eager to work with organization can attract a much more eligible pool of potential employees. Employees with effective qualification and experienced can help organization meet its goals in easy manner. Most of the benefits attained from business ethics are the goals of corporate governance ((Ruiz-Palomino and Martínez-Cañas, 2014). Thus we can say that business ethics have impact on corporate governance. There are certain steps which is required for effective implementation. Code of ethics should be distributed comprehensively to the employees. Employees of the organization should be assisted in interpreting and understanding the business ethics code. Management role in the organization should be clear while implementing the ethics of code. Employees of the organization should aware about their responsibility and overall objective of the business code of ethics. Encourage them through providing effective formal ethics training (Capaldi,  Schmidpeter, Zu, and Fifka, 2015)

 

Conclusion

Thus far, we emphasized ethical behavior within the organization. It has been concluded that we have argued and discussed about ethical behavior and its importance at work. Along with that the discussion on psychology of ethical decision making has been made. To make the relationship outside the organization it is required to focus more explicitly on the bonding between the organization and its external stakeholders. To make the difference between internal organizational ethics and external social responsibility, corporation responsibility is necessary. Ethical reason for corporate social responsibility argues that organization, as a component of society, have to behave ethically.

 

References

APS Task Force on Ethics Education, e.d., Ethics case studies, retrieved on 11TH August 2017 from: https://www.aps.org/programs/education/ethics/upload/Ethics-Case-Studies-Teacher-Edition.pdf.

Capaldi, N., Schmidpeter, R., Zu, L. and Fifka, M.S., 2015, Dictionary of corporate social responsibility CSR, sustainability, ethics and governance.

Delaney, J.T. and Sockell, D., 2012, Do company ethics training programs make a difference? An empirical analysis. Journal of business Ethics, 11(9), pp.719-727.

Ford, R.C. and Richardson, W.D., 2013. Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. In Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 19-44). Springer Netherlands.

IBE, 2016, How to build an ethical culture, Retrieved on 5 Aug 2017 from: https://www.ibe.org.uk/how-to-build-an-ethical-culture/76/52.

Kaptein, M., 2015, The effectiveness of ethics programs: The role of scope, composition, and sequence, Journal of business ethics, 132(2), pp.415-431.

Lefkowitz, J., 2017, Ethics and values in industrial-organizational psychology, Taylor & Francis.

MacDougall, A.E., Bagdasarov, Z., Johnson, J.F. and Mumford, M.D., 2015, Managing workplace ethics: An extended conceptualization of ethical sensemaking and the facilitative role of human resources, In Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (pp. 121-189). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Mulhearn, T.J., Steele, L.M., Watts, L.L., Medeiros, K.E., Mumford, M.D. and Connelly, S., 2017, Review of instructional approaches in ethics education, Science and engineering ethics, 23(3), pp.883-912.

Ruiz-Palomino, P. and Martínez-Cañas, R., 2014, Ethical culture, ethical intent, and organizational citizenship behavior: The moderating and mediating role of person–organization fit, Journal of Business Ethics, 120(1), pp.95-108.

Steele, L.M., Mulhearn, T.J., Medeiros, K.E., Watts, L.L., Connelly, S. and Mumford, M.D., 2016, How do we know what works? A review and critique of current practices in ethics training evaluation, Accountability in research, 23(6), pp.319-350.

Svensson, G., Wood, G. and Callaghan, M., 2015, Codes of Ethics in Sweden’s Largest Marketing Corporations: Communicating the Ethos of the Code Within the Organisation. In Assessing the Different Roles of Marketing Theory and Practice in the Jaws of Economic Uncertainty (pp. 338-342), Springer, Cham.

Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A., 2016, Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right, John Wiley & Sons.

Treviño, L.K., den Nieuwenboer, N.A. and Kish-Gephart, J.J, 2014, (Un)ethical behavior in organizations, Annual Review of Psychology, 65, pp.635-660.

Warren, D.E., Gaspar, J.P. and Laufer, W.S., 2014, Is formal ethics training merely cosmetic? A study of ethics training and ethical organizational culture, Business Ethics Quarterly, 24(1), pp.85-117

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