Superiors have Different Ethics

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Ethics and Responsibility > Best Practices > Superiors have Different Ethics

Superiors have Different Ethics
Kovila, HR Consultant, Mauritius, Member
Hi everyone, managing ethics in business has become a must nowadays... But sometimes whatever is ethical for me might not be ethical for someone else... What do we do if we come across such a situation where in your work some practices are unethical and your superiors face "moral myopia and muteness''?

Organizational Versus Individual Ethics
James Townsend, Manager, United States, Member
You have identified what I think is one of the biggest issues leaders face. I have experienced a dissonance between organizational ethics and personal - I have voiced my opinion and made my concerns clear. If the organization has a pattern of ethical violations then I would continue to document them and be prepared to change companies (presuming that I am not able to influence a change).

Responsibility to Understand the Foundation of the Ethics of your Organization
Charlie Briggs
I quite agree with you James. That's why the change you desire must start with you. Though organizational ethic varies from company to company, but you have a responsibility to understand the foundation of such organizational ethics before you can think of what step to take in terms of corrective measures on your part if its not favorable to your personality.

How to Deal with Unprofessional Ethics
Samir Desai, Manager, India, Member
I agree with James that keeping a track / record of the things that need to be changed is a first concrete step one can make to address the issue of professional ethics.
The next step, to develop a critical mass for the change to take place, formation of team for change is the biggest challenge, especially if the seniors are of the opinion that there is no 'ethical issues ' that need to be addressed. So along with the record of violations I am also keeping a tab on the probable allies and opponents.

Ethics in Business
Waseem A. Nisar, Consultant, United States, Member
I believe the greatest challenge current businesses and their leaders face is ethics in a global sense. Meaning, the businesses are so global that people of different backgrounds are involved in running/managing/leading these entities. With that comes different ethics.
For any business, the ethics must, and have to, start at the top management. If these leaders are not up-to-the-par, nothing will work. They must practice it.
The business leaders must clearly communicate their ethical expectations to the rest in the organization.

Ethical Auditing
Manjit Chodha MSc
An ethical audit is an effective technique that can be applied to an organisation where its formation was the consequence of a set of beliefs (whereas most companies attempt to articulate some beliefs or values after many years of operation). Because it is founded on very explicit values, the audit process can be conducted with a clear sense of purpose and determination to act on the findings.
Before launching on an audit exercise there are many points to consider carefully such as: purpose, type and topic, context, process, people, analysis and reporting, and follow-up.
An ethical audit can have many variables such as audit of policies, procedures (existence/compliance) and actual performance (external impact), staff perceptions/concerns; stakeholder perceptions, aspirations/concerns.
To conduct an audit raises expectations. If you have accepted people's cooperation in the conduct of the audit you will be betraying a trust if you subsequently do nothing about the findings.

Different Ethics: How to Proceed
naomi husein-siregar
All comments above are very good but note you cannot work alone: you should ally with one of the top management, otherwise you will be cornered and accused due to a rebellious act.
Or you can touch their heart with a sympathetic discussion and show them the facts that you have gathered.
Make them think about the future effects if the situation remains unchanged.

Changing Ethics as Managers
Harp Minhas
It is true that ethics comes from within. However, when one gains responsibility for others and for the good of an organisation, ethics will inevitably change and fluctuate. Sometimes your own ethics will win out and sometimes your ethics have to be subordinated for the good of either your business or your staff. I do not believe that we should have a fixed view on this and it is inevitable that we will sometimes need to suppress our own ethical values. Flexibility is the key to greater success in the workplace. In your personal life outside work, that is a different matter...

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