The Arizona Character Education Foundation (Para 1) observes that ethics is about doing what is right. It is what drives individuals to strive hard to live as per the expected societal standards. There are various benefits of striving to live in line with these standards. According to Business Case Studies (1), application of ethics can help in various situations such as in business settings, at work and in other social forums. More often than not, we are faced by issues which call for ethical decision making.
There are two recent incidences which I can relate to this. At school, there is an adult student who happened to have so many obligations, both in the family and at work. This consumed so much of her time that she was late in handling some of the class work we had been given. She approached me to give her my work so that she could copy. I was in a dilemma. I really wanted to help her but giving her my work was equitable to cheating. At the workplace, a colleague wanted to get a day off to be with her lover who was travelling from abroad. However, she understood that this was not proper ground to get permission leave from work. She resorted to call in sick and get the day off. Before doing it, she called me in order to get my opinion on the issue. In as much as I understood her position, I was certain that what she was doing was wrong.
I managed the two situations differently. For the adult learner, I offered to help her deal with the assignment by guiding her rather than giving her my work. This left me with a clear conscience since I had helped her and not broken the school rules. For the colleague who wanted to lie in order to get a sick off, I out rightly told her that that was wrong and unethical and she should not do it. She accused me of not being understanding but I had to fulfill my moral obligations.
Weiss (11) elaborates the reasons as to why it is important to use ethical reasoning in business situations. There are three main reasons. First of all, ethical reasoning helps in attracting the customers. They feel respected and valued, thereby coming back for the services or products. This leads to an increase in the sales and profits. As such, ethical reasoning helps in boosting business activities. Another reason is that ethical reasoning attracts employees. There is the satisfaction that comes from working in an environment where one is valued and respected. One of the provisions of ethical reasoning is to make sure that the workplace is suitable for the employees and also making sure that the contribution of each and everyone is appreciated. In other words, it is arguable that ethical reasoning helps in making a business setting suitable to work for, hence pulling together the best pool of professionals. Lastly, ethical reasoning in business situations leads to fairness to the clients, hence creating good relations with them.
I find the aspect of client attraction being the most valid. Businesses are all about customers and customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal. As such, the fact that ethical reasoning leads to customer satisfaction is quite valid. The attraction of employees is the least valid as far as I am concerned. The employees are the ones to display the ethical characteristics, not to be on the receiving end. They should be on the forefront in reasoning ethically towards the clients. The focus should be on the clients as opposed to the employees.
Arizona Character Education Foundation. “Making Ethical Decisions.” ACCEF, 2012. Web. 11th March 2013, http://www.azcharacteredfoundation.org/ethical.html
Business Case Studies. “The Importance of Ethics in Business.” 2012. Web. 11th March 2013, http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/cadbury-schweppes/ethical-business-practices/the-importance-of-ethics-in-business.html#axzz2NCo290R0
Weiss, Joseph W. Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. Boulevard, PA: Cengage Learning, 2009.