Everyone at some point in his or her lives has had to deal with ethical dilemmas; these are situations that concern right and wrong in which values are in conflict (Trevino & Nelson, 2006). To define business ethics and to explain three ethical issues with today’s business environments that impact the communities and organizations that we, live and work in can be overwhelming. But one can do this by thinking about how ethical behavior affects the decisions in everyday life in the community that they live in or the organization that they work in.
According to Trevino and Nelson (2006) the definition of ethics is the set of moral principles and values governing an individual or group. When this is applied to business, it is the code of principles and values that govern how a business should make decisions. This is usually in the code of conduct section in the employee handbook of an organization so that employees can read and become familiar with what the expectations of him or her. Employers also usually have one department that is in charge of handling the education of ethical decisions so that employees can be taught what to do in certain situations.
Ethical issues arise in today’s businesses when the code of conduct is not followed or people stray from the integrity and character of one’s self. Most ethical issues in business today are human resources issues, conflict of interest issues and customer confidence issues. These issues can lead to legal retributions, cost the organization not only financially but also lead to the company losing customers. Ethical issues in human resources can be summed up in the way that people work together.
Most issues come from discrimination, harassment, privacy policies and, hiring and firing. Corporations try to cover themselves by incorporating fairness into their organization. This is done by covering three elements into their organization, equity, reciprocity, and impartiality (Trevino & Nelson, 2006). This is done by hiring people based on their qualifications and not age, sex, or race. Conflict of interest is another ethical issue surrounding businesses today. When a person is able to know other people in his or her area of business things can sometimes get intertwined.
A conflict of interest occurs when judgment or objectivity is compromised (Trevino & Nelson, 2006). When this happens, it can be more damaging than an actual conflict. Conflict of interest is such a problem in the business world because trust is the basis of relationships in the personal and business world. Conflicts of interest destroy the trust by making it look like fairness does not apply to you. This is done by showing special favors to friends at the expense of all others.
Trevino and Nelson (2006) define customer confidence issues as including confidentiality, product safety and effectiveness, truth in advertising, and special fiduciary responsibilities. These are ethical issues because that they involve fairness, honesty and, respect for others. Customers who trust the company they are doing business with will keep coming back and also recommend the company to others. This will help build the company’s clientele. When it comes to business ethics it can sometimes be difficult to make the right decisions.
It also can be difficult to understand the issues that may arise from such ethical dilemmas. When an individual takes the time to think about the consequences before they arise it can be easy to make the right decisions. By avoiding the common ethical issues that most businesses face an organization can build a company based on integrity. Refrences Trevino, L. K. , & Nelson, K. A. (2006). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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