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Ethics and How to Manage Ethical Issues

There are many concepts we may have heard about but in our way thoughts we hold the definitions of such theories, ideas or concepts in a different way even though they may have other meanings different from ours. These ideologies can be narrowly or broadly interpreted by our minds until we have a deeper converse with others – this is my experience in the course BUS 5115 – Business Law, Ethics & Social Responsibilities. Before BUS 5115, I hold a different but simply narrowed idea of the term “Ethics”, especially as it deals with being moral in all that you do.

Other wider concepts of ethics especially in business were unclear to me, but this course has done justice to my understanding of ethics in several fields.

Being ethical

If you possibly ask me, what does it mean to be ethical mean, I will convincingly say that being ethical means conforming to recognised and accepted moral standards in every sector you find yourself. If an ethical standard is applied to your place of work, then, it means that it is your responsibility to uphold the higher standard in your office than just avoiding a certain behavior or practice because it is prohibited.

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Ethical practice should be more of a “lifestyle” rather than “keeping rules.” Ethics can be applied to all aspects of life especially in business, from customer service (being truthful to customers) to inventory, accounting, production, public relations, etc.

For example, keeping the business’s financial information correct to the best of your ability, that you don’t falsify records and you don’t move funds around to make the company look healthier than it is, if you work in the account unit.

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It also means that if you are in the production unit that accurate proportion of raw materials are used to produce quality products, as well as ensuring that the company doesn’t ship out a product that is not within the industry parameters of safety or quality rather than set different standards for the same product depending on whom it is being sold to. Companies under their PR or corporate affairs unit must also be willing to accept responsibilities when they make mistakes or fail in their dealings with employees, consumers, environment and all stakeholders.

· Anticipating ethical challenges

Since human behaviour or action is evolving and unpredictable, hence there will certainly be ethical challenges as I go up the career ladder. These ethical challenges may present itself as reporting or investigating a colleague for not coming clean about the fact that they’re having trouble completing an important project, for stealing company’s supplies or funds, etc. In the face of these situations, the challenge is to ascertain if any of these deeds are worth reporting? And if so, how can I do so without earning a reputation as a snitch? Because part of the reasons ethical issues get so troubling is that we think of them as test of our morals, hence, causing us to make less rational decisions. Even without emotions, ethical issues at work are not white and black. Incentives to turn a blind eye when we know something is going wrong include a fear of speaking out against superiors, a compromise of standards, a conflict of interest, etc. This kind of reasoning is responsible for most of the biggest ethical fissures in the past and counting, the consequences are fatal and must be avoided.

· Resources and tools to utilize to help you when you face these challenges:

  • Knowing that the impending outcomes are fatal, the following resources or tools are necessary to help me when faced with these challenges;
  • · A clear and well documented company’s ethical code of conduct for employees, customers, shareholders and the environment, so as to base your judgement within the confines of organi-zations policy.
  • · Take responsibility and don’t rationalize any unethical behavior i.e. telling yourself it isn’t a big deal, or that it’s not in your job description to police others – this could worsen the situa-tion.
  • · Always take the Unilitarian ethics perspective by weighing the pros and cons and sticking with right one but with the common good of all concerned. Does it affect only you, your team, or the organization generally? Assessing what is at stake such as a lawsuit, customer relationship or money can strengthen your reason to either speak out or stay quiet.
  • · Try as much as possible to get a second opinion or perspective from the culprit or more expe-rienced personnel as to what could have led to such an action. Often, perpetrators are not act-ing unethically alone but may be influenced or compelled as a whole.

· In special cases involving a superior like your boss, patience and caution should be ap-plied. You can begin by letting your boss know you have their best interest in mind. “This shows your purpose is not to question their authority, but to do the right thing” says Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Accountability (Dishman, 2013). Similarly, it is significant to point out to them why you won’t participate in unethical practices, and what consequence you see as a result of the company’s bad behavior.

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Ethics and How to Manage Ethical Issues. (2019, Dec 15). Retrieved from

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