Why People / Organizations Act Ethically?



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Jean Pauyo, USA
There are two main perspectives on why people (or businesses) act ethically:
1. The first one is on deontologic principle: one has to do what is right because that's good in it self.
2. The second reason people what is good is because of the long term benefit they of it (utilitarianism). We expect to be treated well so we treat other people well.
Acting unethically is always a short term view. People who have short term perspective tend to act unethically.

 
  To Be or not to Be.. That is the Question!
Mary R Brooks, England
I travel round the world working and I have to say that ethics vary from business to business and particularly from country to country. Some businesses (oligopolies too!) suffer from cognitive dissonance when operating in another country where they cannot stop things like corruption. It will go against all of their own company ethics and in their own country but they understand that unless the country they are operating in, and the larger demographics, suffer from that set of ethics then they have to "put up and shut up" and it all comes down to cash again!
 
  Ethics
Martin Heltai, USA
To address the original question: fundamentally we behave ethically because the fabric of successful community cultures is based on the fragile threads of trust and generosity. Acting ethically re-enforces this fabric.
As we often see, the fragility of the fabric is such that corruption of ethical standards destroys cultures.
 
  Ethics Line
Henry Egidius, Sweden
When I was writing my book on ethics and profession (unfortunately available only in Swedish: "Etik och profession"), available from January 2011, I was astonished many times as I had to change old assumptions acquired during a long life in different types of business.
Deontology, as I now see it, is based in the belief of a complete rational world, as it was imagined in the 18th century in the age of enlightenment, and established in ethical theory by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant.
Utilitarianism, which I previously had thought to be a kind calculation of what is best for the majority, now is to me a very respectable philosophy, based on values of equality, equal treatment of men and women, and political democracy and social welfare for everybody.
From this background I have developed my own theory, described in the book, based on biological and psychological knowledge of our own time.
 
  Why Should People Act Ethically?
Jean Pauyo, USA
The question is why should people behave ethically if they can get away with non ethical behaviors. I think Adam Smith before he was an economist said that the self-interest of the agent, in a free market economy, makes him act in a ethical way. However, I think because of the failure of the self-regulation of the market we need ethical principles. Moreover that is why market regulation is necessary to curb the preference for short term self-interest at the expense of social responsibilities.
 
  Why Should People Act Ethically
Bruce Halvax, USA
There is an old proverb: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". To me this says it all. This is similar to the concept of Karma.
 
  Re: Why Should People Act Ethically
Doug Wilsman, USA
It is much easier to act in an ethical manner when there is a benefit to you as well as to the group. Laissez-faire economic policy does not allow for any other response. To believe that one can/should act in a manner that is not necessarily beneficial to one's own interests in favor of the group's is usually decried as "socialistic" and somehow bad. I believe that the latter course is actually more beneficial to the individual because it does not cut that individual from the group as much as a laissez-faire economic policy does, but strengthens the group and, in turn, the individual as well.
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically?
Guillermina Galicia Galicia, Mexico
It is a way to get credibility in society, however, nobody is obliged to carry it out. To do this, some companies have built and released a code of ethics of the company in order to create awareness and involve the staff.
However, there is another problem: some leaders or managers have not assimilated the code or have not not carried it out. This causes the personnel under his responsibility also to ignore it.
The code of ethics says that if there is something out of the ethical, the right approach is to make a complaint. But in reality, it is not, because staff fear losing their jobs if they were to report. Moreover, the managers are making promises or negotiations which prevents them from acting ethically.
I believe that a good start is to start introducing a code of ethics that eventually and gradually establish itself as something of a norm, which will allow the cleaning of the staff and the establishment of order.
 
  Adaptation of Ethics is Not Universal
Hans-Guenter Lindner, Germany
Ethics is not universal. Ethics is dependent on culture and situation. Therefore all arguments about behaving ethically are redundant if ethics is not defined. Every system has its own ethics.
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically?
Kirk C. Heriot, USA
Some of the comments in this thread suggest the "actor" is thinking ethically a priori (before their action). I think people act in their own self-interests. If it happens to be ethical, then so be it.
After all, how many of us know someone that acts ethically all the time?
 
  Sense of Ethics Comes From Sense of Connctivity
Hareesh Ramachandran, India
Before I put my perspective about ethics, let me first state a fact that, at least in the business world people strictly act in their best interest.
The seed for the sense of a sound ethical mind stems out of a consideration for others, a consideration which arises out of a connectivity which makes you identify yourself as an integral part of a whole system.
This consideration would make a person be reflective while acting in his best interest, as to how his surroundings/organization/society or fellow workers are affected. Such individuals can be expected to automatically be ethical while performing their duties.
When anybody would perform their functions without this connectivity, the element of ethics is always at stake.
 
  Ethics is an Intangible Characteristic
Anna hanooman, Trinidad
Ethics is very intangible and subjective, because we are all capable of having difference in opinions. True we are all subject to the knowledge of right and wrong but remember that just as one person can have one perspective, so too can someone have another. My personal opinion however, is that ethics lies within an individual and his/her perception of right and wrong- good or bad. Within a business environment, ethics can be determined by the amount of people negatively affected by a decision. Great comments from everyone by the way!!!
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically
GS RADJOU, France
I think, ethics gives a kind of vision to see issue in depth, widely and on a long horizon line. So, one can advise, subjugate, exchange face to face with someone, and put aside others-choose your preferences. Leaders usually are ethical. Managers, not really!
Cheers, Happy New Year 2011 to all including the editor Jaap de Jonge).
 
  Ethics Increases the Customer Loyalty
Jorge Arrieta S, Colombia
People have to act under ethical principals because it helps to build a better business environment. Companies have to do more than wishing that the people act under ethics concept. Develop trainings to increase the commitment of the people with ethics increases the reliable and loyalty of the customers.
Sure, it is a general expectation in a business world: find organizations which we can trust.
 
  Ethics Does not Have a Unique Interpretation
Bruno Perboni, Italy
I would extend the comment of Hans-Guenter Lindner: different people have different ethics, so that my interpretation of an ethical behavior could be different from someone else's. I got this point when I realized that my business partners where acting differently from myself, and laying between themselves and myself. It is very important to share the basics of our ethics before we start to act together, in order to avoid hard and negative effects.
 
  Ethics Are the Way to Success
Martin Gonzalez de Prada, Argentina
I think ethics must rule our entire lives, both in business as in personal life. it is the only way of success.
 
  Ethics Crucial for Business Success
Helen Ngo, United States
Ethical acting in business context is to develop and maintain a course of actions that minimizes risks, both personal risks and corporate risks. According to many research papers in the past, leaders with high integrity and ethical behavior play crucial role to the success of a corporation, and more importantly to creating a happy, healthy working environment for their staff as well as other stakeholders.
 
  Why People Behave Ethically
John Muiruri Makuno, Kenya
It is in the best interest for a company to behave ethically at all times. This expands the company's business. Though in the short term a company may not do roaring business, in the long run people will choose to do business with a company that has a record of doing what is generally acceptable.
Behaving ethically includes being able to do your business openly at all the times avoiding undercutting others, paying taxes as they are due and not paying bribes.
 
  Ethics in Business and Elswhere
George Ayton, Canada
It may well be that underlying all the multi-syllabic rhetoric on the subject, that ethics is exhibited by those wanting to appear ethical for the benefit of the actor.
Those free of this selfishness act ethically by default....
 
  Why People Behave Ethically..
Penyweit, USA
One reason most act ethically:
It will benefit them short term or long term.
I believe you must have a core belief and a guide, either spiritual or corporate model.
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically?
Rafael Angel Calvo Arguedas, Costa Rica
Most likely, he was raised in a family environment that pursued ethical standards.
I believe that we are all the result of our interactions with others.
 
  Ethics is an Excuse, Most Everyone Knows Right from Wrong
Richardcavessa, USA
Not to be moral, or to be more amoral is the purpose of ethics:
- (used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
- The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular...
- The field of ethics (or moral philosophy) involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior...
 
  Values of CEO
Guerrero de Luna, Peru
I think the vision of the business is linked to the CEO and management vision, values and ethics.
If they don´t have a systemic view of the company as a part attached to a whole that is society and the planet, probably the only radar that counts in their direction will be utility, profit and market share.
 
  Ethics and Bible
Lynn Hoover, USA
I believe the bible has a lot to say about ethics - behavior. This book has lasted centuries and still has the message that can transform lives and behavior. Your worldview will shape how you think and act. My worldview has been shaped by the bible and it has been a guide for me since I've understood who Jesus is.
 
  Ethics - Starting Point?
Joe Kolinger, USA
Ethics starts with the question “Who is God?”
If we believe in a creator God who is personal and has a will and purpose for every person, organization and thing, then his opinion is the foundation of what is ethical.
However, if I am God, then I reserve the right to decide the standard by which ethics are determined.
If we subscribe to the former, there’s a big book that has a lot to say about how we are to lead, serve one another, and care for the earth.
If we subscribe to the latter we can tell one another what ‘ought’ to be done, but there is really no higher authority as a basis. Rather, it’s just our opinions – even if they sound noble and plausible. Marketing, product development, project management, promotion and firing, etc. must all be measured against God’s standard of serving fellow man, versus doing what we think is pragmatic and self-serving.
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically?
Jafeth Quintanilla, Perú
Ethics is not a cake from which one cuts the piece that one wants to its convenience. Ethics shape the acting of man as a person. It is the manual of human behavior. Ethics governs the conduct of man to achieve its development according to universal principles. It is the science of human behavior that makes it happy. Ethics is responsible for the moral and obligations of man. In this respect, we should note that these rules, roles and obligations of man come from divine mandate, that is, God gives guidelines for human behavior in search of happiness.
 
  A View of Ethics
Michael Del-Colle, United States
Ethics is a matter of self interest. It is not always altruistic as some might believe or wish.
The self interest may be defined by spiritual, religious or humanistic values.
Alternatively, it may be defined by baser desires and exploitative motivations.
Ethics is both a demonstrated and perceived value or notion. It can be evidenced in the smallest of things or matters of global importance by both individuals and organizations. As a matter of observation it is a value which we presume exists in its 'good' form as a matter of course. Our dependency on its existence is the foundation of our beliefs that people and organizations will not purposefully do harm to others.
 
  Ethics is What we Truly are
Jay Lo, Taiwan
Ethics comes from one's core values. It is what we truly are. If we deviate from our core values, we cannot find true happiness.
 
  Ethic Makes our Life Easier
Mangue Tang, China
Ethic is a method to simplify our social relationship, which can let us know what we should do and what we shouldn't.
It is like culture and institutions, which can reduce our cost to communicate.
 
  Current Ethics is Unethical
Edgar Avila, Peru
Ethics, such as reasoning and moral action, have been gradually abandoned in the formation and construction of subjects in the constitution of social practices, and sedimentation of the structures of human relations.
 
  The Foundation of Businesses is Ethics
Jackie Yeoh, Malaysia
Ethics should be our way of life. It should be the core foundation of all businesses.
 
  Ethis = Culture + Scenery (Environment)
Tajul Asyran, Malaysia
Ethics is a culture plus scenery. What should I do? Or what could I do? These questions can be answered after we learn to know who our public or audience is.
 
  Ethics is the Foundation of Business
Komal, India
I totally agree with Jackie Yeoh, we should live our life with ethics. According to me ethics makes our life better and easier.
It increases trust, it is the core foundation of any businesses.
 
  Ethics - Why Does Someone Act Ethically
Srinivasan, India
Ethical act is a good attitude for the long term and even the law is designed with the basic principle of ethics and has logical reasoning for enactments.
Sometimes a person who is acting ethically cannot see the benefit in the short term, but in the long run it will prove beneficial. A person of this behaviour is remembered even after death. Leading with example helps one to have a peaceful business and personal life.
 
  Ethics in Business
Upali Gamakumara, Sri Lanka
Ethics is an attitude that depends on the way one looks at things, with no absolute frame of reference. People who ridicule ethics of others do unethical things to another.
For example, a survey revealed that poor villages, blindfolded by advertisements, sold their fresh milk and went for branded milk powder.
Philosophically, in business, sometimes ethics is a covert means to an end.
 
  Ethics is Natural
Bongani L. Nkosi-Dlamini , South Africa
My late brother used to say "Come back to mother earth". Sometimes we have to let nature take its cause, stand back and let the ball roll on its own and don't guide.
 
  Why Does Someone Act Ethically?
Kazenieli William Msemo, Tanzania
Acting ethically is the most rational thing to do. Ethics demand adherence to; they need to be complied with. Where ethics are laid down or implied, the right course of action is to act within the boundaries demarcated.
 
  We need Role Models
Aparajita, India
Much has been said about ethics and its practices. But in today's world when it comes to quoting people who are really implementing it, there seems to be a dearth of such role models.
It seems like... We have the definition now but we lack the examples.
 
  Common and Relative Ethics
juan salinas, Spain
Sometimes we talk about ethics as a bundle of concepts fully agreed and understood, but I agree with some opinion regarding it as a mix of personal and cultural facts.
We could state that there are some common rules of behaviour among every people (human race, homo sapiens sapiens, etc), and different and complementary rules depending on what culture that person has grown up and developed.
Something similar to genotype and phenotype. The former related to individual surviving; the later to social collaboration. Being ethical means above all not harming the community in which you live, and collaborate with other members in having success as a group, not just as an individual, trying to keep that rough balance among personal and group interests.
 
  Ethical Dilemmas
Abdirisak Ahmed Hassan, Somalia
Ethics has to do with the standards of behavior that people follow: what is right and what is wrong. People act ethically when they tell the truth even when lying is not against the law. Ethics does not provide simple answers to all questions. In some cases there is no right answer because doing something that is right may also involve doing something that is wrong, a situation called an ethical dilemma.
 
  Civilization is Based on Ethics
Bantwal Prabhu, India
The foundation of civilization is based on ethics and therefore if society has to survive in the future it has to nurture ethics in all walks of life, starting with children at home and school, adults in colleges and profession, professionals in their spheres and business, the most important being the politicians in politics.
 
  Ethical Hypocrisy?
juan salinas, Spain
How comes that while most of us are agreeing on the convenience of being ethical, it happens that our world is full of injustice because of unethical conducts? Are we an exception to the rule, or better, are we victims of that thing some psychologist called "cognitive dissonance": we know (and preach) what is good but so many times make the opposite?
 
  Why Ethics!
Madan Gopal Agarwal, India
Fundamentally, ethics (or lack of it) emanates from the upbringing one gets from parents / family plus from the internalisation of the education one gets plus the self-imposed discipline.
Additional factor comes from the environment in which one operates.
 
  Ethics as a Personal Value
angel perez, Venezuela
Maybe our environments could change some of behavioral individual patters, however each of us come to life with an ethics archetype that is coming from our parents and close relatives who work out their beliefs in order to forbid whatever wrong signal of what they know as truth in new generations.
In that sense ethics is a natural method of validating ourselves by doing the right a most rational thing in our lives that comes to us like happiness, freedom, wealth, prosperity and some things more like that, besides at the other hand dead and pain are the result of non-ethical conduct and actions.
 
  Why Ethical Behavior?
iurcovich, Italy
It's a way to survive without problems.
 
  Fractal Behavior / Thinking
Mario de Obaldia, USA
Even with the prospect of a semantic war, it is clear that we no longer have access, universally, to what the term 'ethics' once may have embodied.
An old adage - "together we stand, divided we fall" is employed by all in power to sustain the status quo. I'm sure that in time even the discoveries of fractal theory will (if not already) be put to use not to assist the masses, per se, but to enrich the powerful.
That will not change the value of any of these comments, and, alas, will not cause despair, because we are all wed to our own disintegration - fractal behavior!
 
  Why People / Organizations Act Ethically
Richard S. Dillard, USA
I'd like to suggest that acting ethically is in our own "best" self-interest, and that's why people (and organizations) ought to act ethically. But where does this idea come from... Ethics informing our actions out of self-interest? One of the best briefs I've read on the subject is The Pursuit of Happiness: C. S. Lewis’s Eudaimonistic Understanding of Ethics, by David Horner. Well worth the 15-minute read.
 
  Many Ethics
Lucio Emilio do Espirito Santo Junior, Brasil
In fact, there are a lot of ethics. Everybody follows one: a hedonist ethic, leading to egotism, a protestant one, an altruistic ethic, etc.
 
  Ethical Behavior is Rewarded
James Akortsu, Ghana
Ethics depend on the environment in which one finds itself. People / businesses act ethically because they believe in a natural justice. Behaving ethically comes with reward, both tangible and intangible.
 
  Why Organizations Act Ethically?
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Philippines
People behave they do because they were created in the image and likeness of God.
God is all good and people will tend to gravitate to the good.
Organizations are made up and managed by people. The good that is in the people is definitely reflected in the organization in its dealing / relationship with people and other organizations.
Good organizations are principled organizations which conduct their businesses in a fair, just, and righteous way.
 
  Driving Force of Business is Money, NOT Ethics
Bantwal Prabhu, India
Pruna is absolutely right in an ideal world, but in the real world money is God and God is money, the the driving force is not ethics but something different and hence unless we address a million issues, the topic of ethics will remain for academics only.
 
  Ethics versus God / No God
Aparajita, India
I agree with Mr. Pruna but the following question arises in my mind... When it comes to ethics, for believers, God seems to be the most ethical entity (irrespective of religion) and we have a strong example to follow. But does this mean that atheists have no ethics? Where do atheists get their ethics from?
 
  Businesses Require Ethics
MPANDE KENNEDY, D. R. Congo
In each of us the sense of good and ethics exists. Whatever the faith, ethics is anchored in us and it urges us to act in a way which is good.
Business is not excluded from this and requires more ethics because it is based on trust.
 
  Organizations Require Good Governance and Code of Ethics
ALFRED ZINBANKAARA SORIZU, Ghana
There is the compelling need for organizations and individuals to act ethically if they truly want to remain competitive. Good ethical behaviour can no more be seperated from the principles of good good corporate governance. I am however not sure ethical behaviour should be guided by a written code of ethics which is now a common practice in most organizations.
 
  Ethics Versus God / No God..
Richard S. Dillard, USA
Building off of what Pruna, Prabhu, Aparajita, et al. have positioned, a good article on the subject of god, goodness, ethics, morality, etc., from an atheistic perspective (because not everyone believes there is a God), is written by Norman Geisler... Excerpt follows:
"... The truth is that many of the great atheists themselves understood well that without God there is no basis for being good for goodness sake... One can be good (as many atheists are) without believing in God. But one cannot be good without there being a God. That is, they can believe in a moral law (and live accordingly) without believing in God. But they cannot justify this belief without reference to a moral law giver (God)".
 
  Ethical Principle
vilmar bueno silva, Brazil
I believe that acting ethically depends on the stage of development of the society considered. We will see societies acting on ethical principles and others completely devoid of any responsibility. Moreover, as an ethical act mean toward the preservation of all types of life, we'll find in all societies people acting unethically.
 
  Why Organizations Act Ethically?
Jafeth Quintanilla, Perú
In fact many organizations act guided by economic interests rather than by principles and ethical and moral values.
But this way of acting just leads man to his destruction. Organizations that act oriented just for the money, end up exploiting humans. Regardless of religious beliefs, any type of abuse or exploitation generated by non-ethical organizations reduces the human meaning of the person.
So if we act on anthropological principles, we should recognize that organizations should act ethically without leaving their goals of survival, profitability and growth. This will allow us to achieve a more just and reconciled society, as God intended.
 
  Why People, Individuals or Groups, Should Act Ethically
David VanderMeulen, USA
As Pruna mentions, we are all made in image and likeness of God. As such, we are wise to follow any and all guidelines that reflect the nature and principles of the creator - for that I know of no better source that those properly obtained from the bible.
 
  Should You Be Ethical?
Lin Moyo, South Africa
A woman was once to be stoned by a mob (Editor: ~crowd) who had caught her red handed in a crime that, by right, should have caused her to receive what was about to come to her.
On consultation with a certain man of ethical worth, the mob was told to carry out their justice, but only the one who had no sin / fault himself could pick a stone and strike. This condition was met by a gradual exit by the mob until the woman was alone with the man. All her accusers - who were right - had left her untouched for ethical reasons: they could not say - by striking her - that she alone was sinful. They acknowledged they too had their own sin.
Let those who have ears hear. I have found though, that people who are judgmental over an issue are themselves at risk of continuously breaking the rule they purport others must adhere to.
We should strive for tolerance, forgiveness and mentoring others towards what we believe is right.
 
  Reason for Acting in an Ethical Way
Donald Tang, Malaysia
Ethics is not doing things against your conscience. All people have their own conscience, but it can be in different varieties and levels.
 
  Why Behave Ethical?
Bismark O. Del Villar, United States
Behavior rewarded > behavior repeated!
People and organizations act ethically when it's in their clear financial interest, and they don't when when it's not. Example: it's not profitable in the long term for an organization to act unethically. At a different point in history when there were in fact less oversight mechanisms organizations did act unethically. This is why labor unions started in the first place.
 
  Reason versus Emotion in Ethics
Aparajita, India
What is the basis of ethics - reason or emotions? Or is it a confluence of both?
Several theorists have expressed their opinions. For instance David Hume insists values come from feelings, whereas Immanuel Kant has a rationalist approach.
However, which of the two is more dominant in 21st century? Let's say these days we manage emotions (taking a rational approach), so can we conclude reason currently has a predominance in ethics?
 
  Why People Act Ethically
Henry Egidius, Sweden
The point I make in my coming book ethics and professionalism (Etik och Profession) is that ethical behavior is but one of many types of interaction between individuals and groups. I can build on comments many of you have made already stating that the essence of ethics and morality is respect for each other, for dignitiy, autonomy, and integrity.
If you want to have friendly and constructive relationships with other people, groups, companies etc you automatically pay attention to these principles. And I must add: you have to be consistent in order to be trustworthy. For enemies there are other behavioral principles, to some extent even those of ethical nature but of another kind.
 
  Why People Act Ethically
Bongani L. Nkosi-Dlamini , South Africa
If you haven't worked in different countries, met people of different cultures, forced to learn, and speak different languages to give instructions or motivate your surbodinates then you are yet to understand the true meaning of ethics. "guys furaha ya mwaka mpya.
 
  Ethics Cannot Exist Without...
Musiyandaka Donna, Zimbabwe
I believe ethics have to do with the rules of order defined by a society - do you conform/align or not? Being unethical is about introducing some form of chaos, showing some chaotic behaviour. Can anyone define ethics wthout defining the common understanding on the line of order?
 
  Why Ethics!
Madan Gopal Agarwal, India
Hi Musiyandaka, to me ethics or any other higher order thinking faculty has more to with one's state of mind which is strongly influenced by one's upbringing. Rules of order only facilitate or positively cement one's thought process. But positive substance have to be there in thought process ready to be ignited.
 
  Why Ethics and Why People Act That or Other Way??
Madan Gopal Agarwal, India
Hi Henry Egdius, a happy new year 2011 and my compliments on writing a book on such a fundamental subject which can change the human-kind.
I feel the basic assumptions need not be changed. They only get a longer list. Change mandates a definite reason, if any. Also, ethics continue to be strongly driven by one's upbringing which manifests in one's behaviour towards others.
 
  Ethics and Consequences of Ethics
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Philippines
Hi Musiyandaka, Ethics is what brings about "sense of order". Respecting and doing good to others are the consequences of ethics. And, so many much more traits and values are products of ethical concerns.
 
  The Foundation of Ethics
mursal bashir, Kenya
Ethics is closely linked to value, honesty, trust and a host of other virtues which are rooted in the culture in which the individual was nurtured. It is easy to talk about it, but hard to act on it (all the time in all situations), because of man's very nature but we can all try to learn and practise it.
 
  Acting Ethically
Tarek Kazma, Lebanon
Acting ethically reflects the personality and behavior of each individual wether performing in a society or in a working environment. But I say that ethics to running low in different aspects of life.
 
  Acting Ethically
Kirk C. Heriot, USA
It would be nice to believe everyone / each organization is ethical. However it is foolish in my opinion to believe that to be the case:
- How ethical is it for the US Government to continue borrowing money when only payments on the interest can be made?
- How ethical is it for banks to lend money for a home to someone completely incapable of making the payments?
- How ethical is it to encourage this type of lending by the government?
These examples demonstrate that people, in the name of government or business, do not act ethically in some situations.
I think that most people behave ethically because it is the most rational thing to do. Unfortunately, the unethical behavior of some people in society or the market makes it difficult for everyone else.
 
  Professional Ethics for Youth
Bantwal Prabhu, India
Every nation lives in the future by the actions of the youth and hence their character and behavior decides the quality of life in terms of ethics. This is particularly important in the case of professionals like medical, engineering, law, business, politicians etc. who take an oath during their graduation in universities to serve their profession ethically but today less than five percent hold on to that. This has to change either by the organizations or the society so that the majority become ethical and the professions are cleaner in their day to day operations leading to a better place to live.
 
  Ethical Basis is Faith and Beliefs
Bantwal Prabhu, India
People all over the world have different religions and faith and philosophies based on their beliefs.
These have not changed much during the last hundred years, although rational and spiritual thinkers have questioned these beliefs which have become irrational and unscientific.
Good parentage, environment, and value based education can change the culture of our society and organizations towards higher standards of ethics and morality.
 
  Long Term Success is Based on Good Ethics
Bantwal Prabhu, India
In the future organizations who survive for more than ten years will have strong long term values based on ethics and not on profits. These organizations have evolved over a period of time focussing on core values which will not change over time. For them competition is not challening, they are innovative in everything they do. It is time for realization of these basics and for application of them.
 
  Foundational Values of Organizations
Jafeth Quintanilla, Perú
That is right Bantwal, regardless of religion, ethics is based on faith and beliefs. This generates in organizations foundational values or principles. These values become the core essence of organizations. When those foundational principles are maintained in the long term, organizations become more solid and strong and achieve success more easily.
 
  Personal Ethics
Stig Falster, Australia
I agree with the proponents of the concept of core vales. At the heart of ethical behavior is one's upbringing and resultant core values. It is alarming to see the lack of ethics displayed by most politicians and senior business leaders, yet they expect ethical behavious from their public and customers. Religion offers a path, although a lot of people hide behind it, behaving poorly yet espousing "christian" values! In the end, it is up to us to live by our core values, founded in the principle that doing good for others should also be good for us!
 
  Older Organizations
Mario de Obaldia, USA
Bantwal - it seems presumptive to assign status of ethical to an organization based on an arbitrary number of years in existence. Inevitably nature, millennially, follows its own path; rivers will change the face of the earth, their meanderings, scarring the mountainsides, with and without humans to sit in awe at the spectacle.
As soon as the financial state of that 15 year old organization weakens, ethics takes a back seat. The 'scarring' resulting from its meanderings through the landscape of business will eventually be hidden by other more viable (for the moment) organizations; the development of a 'culture', implicit in your comment, is dependent on its survival.
The intellectualizations we expound in blogs such as these, is laden with hope - a hope that belies the "faith and belief" espoused as essential to a "kinder and gentler" world. We are still animals and will act individually as well as organizationally (herdism) to survive. When things are good, we are 'good' - it is the nature of the beast!
 
  Ethics, a Summary
Madan Gopal Agarwal, India
Mostly people seem to agree that ethics is good for individuals / organisations / societies / nations and so forth.
People also seem to agree that things are too bad all over.
Some people think that it will automatically become better while others do not see any hope.
An issue is how to have an ethical behaviour all across all the time.
As most of us have also indicated, ethics is more of an individual trait. If it is present in the CEO / owner of the organisation, it will tend to be an ethical organisation, most of the time and so on. Since very few people display ethical behaviour, there are very few organisations displaying ethical behaviour. Regards.
 
  Ethical Behaviour from Professionalism
Jackie Yeoh, Malaysia
Almost everyone is a "professional" in his/her field. Apply your "professionalism" at all times, you have a an ethical behaviour consistent with your application. Just imagine all head of departments apply this and how the organization will flourish...
 
  Ethical Behavior from Professionalism
GS RADJOU, France
Professional ethics is not a dream.
Architecture code is relevant. If professional workers don't reinforce the bricklaying, there is a risk to see all buildings flatten down during an earthquake. Urbanism code is written in such a way professionals should follow these technical rules, but how often do you see unethical professionals. Often it happens that workers do not reinforce bricklaying to reduce the bricklaying works and it happens a disaster.
Professional ethical behavior is to follow a professional code.
Another example is the Enron case leading to Sarbanes-Oxley act 2002. If professionals don't follow the accounting rules, but instead cook the book, there is a risk of bankruptcy, failure of the organization and putting people jobs at risk, as well as the economy in case of big company unethical professionalism.
 
  'Professionalism'
Mario de Obaldia, USA
Imagine! That is what we hear during our religious childhood - imagine, then believe, then we die. We are enthralled, excited, mystified, frightened then resigned.
Most of us will wonder why we can't have the imagined nirvana, heaven, most wonderful experience (see mark Twain's Letters from the Earth, Letter II) here on earth. This is what this gathering of para-intellectuals on this forum hope to move toward. We must be honest first, with ourselves and with our community.
Digging our heads in the sand is not the answer; hoping that by saying what should be, will be, is beyond oblivious - we cannot continue to hide behind naivety.
 
  Professional Ethics of Youth
Bantwal Prabhu, India
Today the developing countries are facing the problems of corruption owing to the lack of ethics in profession, business, politics, justice, police etc. This problem is going to be very serious when demographically there is a large population of youth in some countries like India without any role model to follow. The professional ethics of this large number of youth will play a major role in development, positive or negative in the years to come. The youth can destabilize the economy of these countries if they do not have the proper control of what they do, particularly the strong and dangerous consequences, due to lack of leadership with ethics.
 
  Ethical Business, to Be or not to Be
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Philippines
@Mary R Brooks: While it is really happening that "CASH" in a materialistic world seems to thrive in business transactions, the righteousness and truthfulness of said transactions, while taken for granted, are basic foundations which should define the entire transaction proceedings.
 
  Faith and Belief
Leodegardo M. Pruna, Philippines
@Bantwal Prabhu: the ethical basis of professionalism is faith and belief. Faith is founded on moral values which emanate from a higher order, while belief is more about attitudes and behaviors which have evolved in time and are acceptable to the people.
 
  4 Universal Principles of Business Ethics
KRS Raman, India
1. Client Autonomy
2. Non-maleficence (not causing harm)
3. Beneficence (doing good), and
4. Justice (Equality)
are four universally applicable tenets of Ethical conduct in any profession.
At times, these may clash, causing an ethical dilemma.
An easy example: a high-risk procedure may bring a great benefit to the client but has significant risk of harm for employees for those assembling it. What do we then do? We need to use client autonomy as the major decision making factor to decide whether to proceed or not.
In complex situations, one needs the guidance of an ethicist or an ethical committee to make the "right choice".
 
  Ethics and Morality Revisited
Madan Gopal Agarwal, India
Ethics and Morality, often used interchangeably, need clear distinctive understanding. Also, it has nothing to do with any transaction, be it with client or anybody else. Client autonomy is what is part of terms and conditions of any business transaction. Will one start speaking a lie for the autonomy of client? Morality are individual's social traits which one subscribes to. Similarly, ethics are individual's professional traits which one subscribes to.
Immoral or unethical traits cannot be justified on any ground whatsoever.
One is either ethical in dealing and moral in behaviour or NOT. One can't be both conditionally.
 
   
 

   
 



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