Why are Business People / Managers not Ethical?

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Ethics and Responsibility > Best Practices > Why are Business People / Managers not Ethical?

Why are Business People / Managers not Ethical?
Solomon A
I do not know why people are losing their ethical behaviour when given a managerial position?
Don't you think good values and ethics are inborn character, but are influenced by the environment? Please forward your view as to how people on earth develop ethics everywhere.
 

 
Ethics Influenced by the Environment
Imaniragaba Proscovia
I think ethics and good values are inborn, AND are all influenced by the environment. The environment you live in can change you ethically and morally, either positively or negatively depending on the kind of the environment.
To some extent, good values can be created by a person in himself step by step, the same applies to Ethics.
 

 
Ethics and Values
AMBAJI N RAO
We can uphold ethics when we uphold values. Despite our efforts, we tend to go down on ethics due to greed or due to being overambitious, which results in losing our moral values.
When we have a clear corporate and social responsibility, we will be able to speak of ethics and values. Views and opinions are welcome.
 

 
Ethics Requires Preparation
Otavio Alexandre Da Silva, Brazil, Member
You have to be prepared, because persons become ethical when their consciousness reaches a level of maturity. That is achieved through good examples, education, by our parents or later in our life by further exposure to education, examples or culture.
 

 
How Business Ethics are Influenced by the Environment
David Coates, Management Consultant, United Kingdom, Member
@Imaniragaba Proscovia: This sounds very much like a nature or nurture debate. In which, yes, I think the two work on a continuum.
Through awareness, role modeling and reinforcement from respected others then your latent ethics can be developed.
Pretty much everyone knows killing is wrong - yet it happens.
And as the saying goes 'money is not an important driver if you have it'
Likewise if we have the luxury of a good environment, it is easier to be ethical and a good person.
But put anyone in a situation where they find it difficult to makes ends meet, or feed their family, then the story changes.
But as I say, this is all on a continuum. Because does this explain why already rich people steal? Not in itself. They do it because they think they can get away with it, or they have a God given right to things they do not deserve. Their moral compass has gone wrong. They normally know they are doing wrong though! Scrutiny my boy!
 

 
Business Ethics and Christian Faith
Mike Allen, Interim Manager, United Kingdom, Member
From the period of Abraham Business ethics have been shaped by Faith. The Bible has sections of the book of Proverbs part of which were drawn from Egyptian sources around the reign of Ramases 2nd and developed during the Reign of Solomon. Then by Christ during Roman Times the whole approach to commerce became one of fair and honest trading backed by a character which honoured God. This was, for example shown by Puritans and then the great Quaker enterprises of the USA in the 19th Century and Christians in the UK who built Schools and homes for their workforce. While profit was a motive driving commerce, philanthropy came with honest bargains from Christian businesses. This was beyond family, religious or tribal generosity, unlike Muslim or Hindu faiths.
When this approach failed after the mid 20th Century, commercial contracts became battlegrounds and "Corporate Social Responsibility" became an approach used to encourage a weak replacement. Ethics comes from the soul and culture.
 

 
Obstacles that Make Ethical Decisions Difficult in the Workplace
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
We know that even highly intelligent and strategic-minded individuals, when faced with a moral decision in practice, often fail. However, in training exercises it seems far more easier to be ethical. Why are moral decisions sometimes easily resolved in the classroom, but harder in practice?
There are 3 obstacles that make ethical decisions in the workplace different and more difficult than in training simulations:
  1. In exercises, the consequential decision is typically identified clearly for participants. Instead of confronting the challenge of identifying which of the many hundreds of decisions made each day have ethical overtones, exercises hand the specific dilemma to participants.
  2. Training inevitably exposes different points of views and judgments.
  3. Unlike in training, when a single decision might be given an hour of careful analysis, most actual decisions are made quickly and rely on intuition rather than careful, reflective reasoning. This is especially problematic for moral decisions, which often rely on routine and intuitions that produce mindless judgements that don't match up with how wed desire to respond if we considered the decision with more time.
The challenge for organizations is to cultivate environments where ethical decisions are easier, not more difficult. Creating training exercises that better simulate the actual environment, circumstances, and pressures where ethical decisions are made is the first step toward addressing these critical challenges.
Source: Soltes, E., "Why Its So Hard to Train Someone to Make an Ethical Decision" Harvard Business Review.
 

     
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