Managing Business Ethics in Organizations

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Business Ethics and the Value of Focusing on Conduct Rather than Characteristics

Business ethics is a code of ideologies and group values that may be implied or written, through which an institute weigh up its business correlated judgment and actions (Trevino, & Nelson, 2010). Written or conventional business ethics are crucial since criteria for what is defective or beneficial are shaped by an organization’s best practices. Business ethics is entails the proclivity to distinguish wrong from right, and the resiliency to opt to what is suitable in terms of judgment and actions. Business ethics applies to workers file and rank, managers and the entire organizations. Ethical business decisions are made when personnel within the company and the organization as a whole prioritizes the interests of the owners (Trevino & Nelson, 2010). Stakeholders’ standpoint of business ethics accentuate the importance to make judgments that work glowing for the good of all stakeholders.

The value of focusing on conduct rather than characteristics is a weighty matter that needs to differentiate between the two concepts. Each association has an idiosyncratic ethical character that inaudibly guides what members achieve and believe. Ethical character controls how exterior stakeholders and clients observe the enterprise. Ethical characters in the business that discerns organization’s identity include value added, augmentation, conformity, and risk administration. Although organization character reflects how responsibilities are met, responsible business conducts matter the most. Business conduct of ethics revolves around social responsibility and compliance. Through business conduct, organization weighs its strengths in terms of fulfilling community goals and its ability to overcome unprecedented challenges. Compliance as a central part of ethical conduct, means the aptitude of the organization to hold fast to legal requirements by introducing effective programs to discover and avert misconduct. Compliance requires the organization to demonstrate its commitment in embracing management practices in accordance to the set rules. Failure to uphold responsible business conduct leads to damaged organization’s reputation in the eyes of media, non governmental organizations, and international institutions (Trevino & Nelson, 2010).

Explaining why Corporations must Care about Ethical Behavior and Ethics

The day today imperatives of organizational performance are too demanding; thus, deterring attention to organizational, moral content in decision making. “Ethics appears to be obscure and qualitative in nature, therefore, lack substantial relation to objective productivity” (Monash University, 2012). A well-organized managerial tradition persuades ethical behaviors and discourages unscrupulous behaviors. Ethical behavior costs the organization as ethical problems are of concern to individuals, organizations, and society. The need for organizations to care about ethical behavior and ethic is informed by varieties of challenges and changes facing managements in the future. Changes and challenges have an insightful effect on the productivity of the organization and determine the survival of organization in the market. Upholding ethical behaviors help in overcoming challenges that include international competition, new technologies, and employee commitments. Ethic, which is a philosophical term, means custom or character, and it “connotes an organization’s code that conveys consistent values and moral integrity. Ethical behavior is about what is morally accepted as right and proper as opposed to wrong or sinful in a work environment” (Trevino & Nelson, 2010). Right ethical behavior desists from bribe for job contracts, do not withhold information for the auditing purposes and requires not engaging in private business in the company. Management should cultivate selfless ethic and ethic behavior since the public demand that managers, government officials, and workers to act in the highest moral standards.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest happens in the workplace when a worker has loyalties or interests that are potentially at odds with each other. As a result, the employee encounters a struggle between adherence, point of view or deviating interests. Most organization often forbid conflict of interests as outlined in the employee handbooks and codes of conduct. An example of a typical conflict of interest issue is accepting payment for private tutorials for students enrolled at the University (Monash University, 2012). In this scenario, the conflict of inept is exclusively an interest of private versus public interest. The ethical issue is the financial interest of the tutor in the university and the interests of the students. Staff members in public universities are expected to relate with students in a manner deemed professional as enshrined in the staffs’ hand book. As such, tutors are entitled to salaries and allowance that act as a commensuration for their services. Students who pay school fees and others costs as per the requirement of the university must receive training and tutorial services with no strings attached. The ethical problem in this context is that the tutor arranges for private dealing with students, in addition to his/her normal allowances. This arrangement is morally unacceptable, contradicts the set code of conducts, and compromises the professionalism in the academic arena. The cost incurred in this ethical issue is extra charges to student on top of normal academic fees, violation of universities rules, and procedural processes for detecting these conflicts of interests. In an effort to address this conflict of interests effectively, the university must spell out ethic and ethical behaviors in the standard of conducts. Remuneration of the staffs should reflect the market rates that are acceptable by the trade unions and matches employees’ efforts. Further, students should reports private tutorial services that demand extra fees besides what is prescribed by the university.

Positive Psychology and how is it Useful for Studying Business Ethics

Positive psychology is defined as the scientific study of human functioning and involves understanding the process, mechanism, and well being that produces desirable results. Positive psychology is allied with contentment where pleasure is achieved by refining positive emotions, excellent life, and living a momentous life. In a broader milieu, positive psychology is envisioned as a discipline of constructive subjective experience, helpful institutions, and encouraging individual traits that permit individuals and societies to thrive. The usefulness of positive psychology in studying business ethic is developing positive attitudes towards changes and challenges that confront businesses. The scandals experienced in businesses across the world require an effective application of positive psychology in business through ethical behavior and moral reasoning. A culture of positive psychology in organization allows employees to learn to articulate values of a good life; thus, avoids unethical behaviors.

The thought of Altruism and Egoism of Benefits and Motives

Altruism entails giving time, funds, service and other resource that payback others exclusive of expectation of return gain. Altruism is perceived as a scale of behavior, which has conflicting egoism. Egoistic behavior is the motivation that is triggered by individual self interests and that the ultimate desires of human are egoistic. In business practice, the concepts of egoism and altruism are not realistic since organizations expect rewards inform of hard work and input from employees. Giving money, resources, and services augers well with employees, but organization operates on fixed costs and incurs expenses in the course of residing staffs. Therefore, the concept of altruism and egoism as a way of benefiting and motivating employees is unrealistic and inapplicable in the long run.


Monash University. (2012). Examples of Conflicts of Interest and Guidelines for Action. Web.

Trevino, L. K. & Nelson K. A. (2010). Managing Business Ethics: Straight Talk About How to Do it Right. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University.

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