Companies and organizations are typically governed by ethics. This means that workers’ actions and conduct should be in line with an organization’s code of ethics. To some extent, organizations usually state what they consider right or wrong, depending on their stipulated rules and policies. “Ethics can be defined as the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). For example, we have medical ethics. Ethical behavior is usually influenced by legal interpretations, individual and organizational factors.
Ethics is, therefore, internally stated and adopted. For a person to come up with ethical decisions, he should possess the following. First, he should recognize ethical issues. Second, he should consider different perspectives when determining the right thing in a given situation. This is the same as having the capacity to reframe. “And the third is the ability to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty; making a decision on the best information available” (Noe, 2008).
Importance of Ethics in an Organization
Ethics provides guidelines that enable an organization to achieve its set targets and objectives. For example, they are essential elements in achieving the vision of an organization. Consequently, a company’s vision must be in line with its core ethics. When individuals working in a given organization share common values, they can achieve the desired objectives effectively. “In this case, ethics act as important tools for making judgments, assessing probable outcomes of contemplated actions, and choosing among alternatives” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). Nonetheless, if members of a particular institution fail to share their values, they cannot accomplish their goals effectively.
Impact of Individual Influences on Ethical Behavior
Personal values are the traits that a person feels are necessary to him, and they do vary from one person to another. For example, an individual that has integrity typically performs his actions honestly. Therefore, an individual who has good moral values is likely to have good organizational behavior.
The behavior of a person in an organization also depends on his social background. For example, an individual who comes from a family with outstanding ethical standards is likely to adhere to the ethical guidelines in the work environment. A person mainly acquires moral values before joining an organization. This means that organizations mostly work with people who already have set values. “This might imply that ethical organizations are those fortunate enough to bring in ethical individuals” (National Defense University, 2001).
Organization’s Influence on Ethical Behavior of Employees
Organizations are generally concerned with promoting moral behavior, and they always discourage bad moral standards. Many challenges are currently affecting various organizations. These challenges mostly affect ethical behavior. Some of these challenges include new technologies, stiff competition, and managing diverse personnel. Many employees have come up with strategies for influencing ethical behavior in their firms. For instance, training of the workforce is normally done to create a cohesive relationship between employees and administrators. Rewards can also be offered to prevent unethical behavior that may arise in an organization.
“Self- discipline alone with ethical training programs provides the foundation when making difficult decisions in ethical relationships.” (National Defense University, 2001) It is also imperative for the administrator of an organization to stress the expected behavior to be enforced effectively. Maintaining the desired behavior also requires reinforcement of measures by the company. Therefore, “modification is required to accommodate appraisal systems such as performance appraisals instilled within the organization” (Noe, 2008).
An organization that is keen on achieving its vision should nurture its workers and ensure that they adhere to the prescribed ethical guidelines. Managers should also remain committed to promoting good ethical practices in their organizations.
Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational Behavior: Key Concepts, Skills & Best Practices. New York: McGraw-Hill.
National Defense University. (2001). Values and Ethics. Web.
Noe, R. (2008). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.