Business ethics is the study of the required business practices and policies concerning controversial issues that are of key importance such as insider trading, discrimination, bribery, fiduciary responsibilities and corporate social responsibilities. The ethics of a business are usually governed by the laws while they can also provide a framework that the business may choose to follow so that they can obtain public attention (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2010, p. 143).
The business ethics are usually implemented to ensure that some specific level of the required trusts exists between who participates in the market for the business product or services and the consumers. Business ethics usually concern the moral judgments of an individual concerning what is right and what is wrong. The decision taken by an organization is usually made by a group of persons or an individual depending on the cultural background of the business. It is expected that the employees of an organization will be morally upright as this is a key component in ensuring that the business is successful and it achieves its goals (Geirsson, Holmgren, 2000, p. 232).
Confidential information in a business.
Information pertaining to the operation of business and those who are in a contract with the business is a very important asset for a business. These types of information’s are confidential and thus they should be kept in a safe place and they should be protected. Failure to protect such details and documents can be damaging to the company’soperations and its trust. This type of information may include, confidential detail of the business partners, illustrations, hardware’s and softwareprogram, specifications and any other materials containing the information’s and details of a business such as the service, suppliers, business and other details (Hinman, 2013, p. 176).
This list cannot be exhausted and this makes confidentialinformation to be defined as any detail that a company does not want to be disclosed. These documents can exist in the form of electronic documents, which are in hardcopy form or in any other form. Having the knowledge about the value of the documents of the information, the members of a business organization should remember that these documents are enforceable by the law once they have been damaged or tampered with or leaked (Jennings, 2012, p. 232).
Before an employee or a member of the business organization leaks some crucial information, he or she should consider whatwould be at stake because of giving out the information to untrusted individuals. The chances of less disclosure of the information and the practical’s will safeguard the money protection that could have been lost because of disclosing the information and thus resulting to any breach of contract. If any damage is incurred because of disclosing this information’s, the damage or the penalty may not be enforceable (Kirkpatrick, 2007, p. 213).
Ethics governing information disclosure.
If information is considered confidential by the business organization, no member of the organization should disclose this information. In case the information needs to be disclosed, authorization should be requested. In order to know if the information of a company has been breached, the business has to prove that the information was confidential, there was a major reason why the information was classified as confidential and that the information was disclosed withoutauthorization. Whether or not an individual discloses the information by mistake or willingly or whether the individual was to benefit financially from disclosing the information (Lewis, Gilman, 2012, p. 321).
Ethics of justice
These types of ethics are also referredas the morality of justice. Itis usually used to describe the moral reasoning of an individual and the stage in which an individual develops. The ethics of justice areusually concerned with the moral choices by measuring the rights of the individuals that are involved and those that who selects the solutions that can cause damage to several people. The ethic is usually rooted in accordance to the law.
This ethic puts more emphasis on an individualvirtue and the characters that are possessed by an employee that helps in the evaluation of the ethical characteristics. Thedifference between this article and the other ethics is that virtue ethics focuses most on the moral conclusion of an individual that is reached at. An example of this ethic is like giving a lie. Lies are perceived to be bad in business ethics and the results that come out of lies are perceived to be bad.
A normative ethic states that the proper course of action is one result of maximum utility. Others refer to it as the act of maximizing happiness while reducing suffering. Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart are known to be the most influenced of utilitarianism. John states that the golden rule of Jesus Christ loved another person as one loves himself. This was the ethic of utility, which constituted to the perfection of utilitarian of morality. Utilitarianism was also believed to be only when the results of actions do not affect other people negatively. Therefore, it is a moral action that is usually measured by the outcomes, thoughthey are usually debates about considerations that ought to be given to some consequences. This is the foreseen, intended and the actual consequences.
This should not be considered as the determining factors of why the individual disclosed the information. In tomy adopted response to this situation would be responsive one. I would report Simon to my line supervisor engaging in ethical egoism. My reasons for doing this are that this action is morally right, as Simon is clearly breaching company policy committing a potential act of gross misconduct and breaching the criminal law in relation to the date section.If I was to do nothing I would therefore have guilty knowledge and could potentially be perceived to be complicit in the situation. My actions in finding the information in the first place are legal, as the computer is owned by the company that I work for the information withheld on my computer is also owned by the law firm (Longenecker, 2006 p. 421).
I was legitimately accessing the computer following the lawful instruction of a manager in order to provide information requested the file was already open on Simon's PC and Justin minimize state which is accidentally maximized file itself was not sought specifically by myself and effectively the file was not opened by myself. Therefore, the information that I obtained was done lawfully. In relation to the ethical egoism, theory told not is sacrificing me. The theory states to sections to pursue short-term desire or a long-term interest. In this situation, this could satisfy my long-term interest, which would be to remain at the company increase my earning ability through promotion and progression within the company(Marcum, 2008 p. 144).
In a business organization, we as the employees must think of what is the right course of action. This may involve rejecting the short cut that may prove beneficial to us and generate short term profits such as what Simon is trying to do. Social responsibility and ethical behaviors can be of key benefit to the business (Longenecker, 2006 p. 121).
Benefits of business ethics
Some of the benefits associated with business ethics include; there will be an increase in the number of customers, thus increasing the profit margins and the level of sales. There will be a reduction in the number of labor turnover, as many employees will wish to remain working with the business thus enhancing an increase in productivity. Proper business ethics will create an increase in the number of employees wanting to work with the business and because of this, there will be a reduction in the recruitment cost while enabling the company to acquire more talents at a low cost (Lewis, Gilman, 2012, p. 321).
Good business ethics can also attract more investors, thus increasing the value of the company’s shares and creating security from business takeover. On the other hand, unethical behaviors such as that shown by Simon and lack of social reliability and responsibility may be harmful to the business reputation. This could result to fall in the profit level (Kirkpatrick, 2007, p. 213).
Causes of unethical behavior
Some of the key issues that should be experienced by the business organization are trust and integrity. The primary understanding of integrity in business involves conducting the business in a manner that is considered fair and honest and that is considered honest in the eyes of the customers. A higher level of trust is usually developed if the customers perceive that the business is being conducted in an ethical manner. This can play a key role in helping the business achieve its goals (Jennings, 2012, p. 232).
The globe is considered a place that is full of cultural diversity. Different individuals come from different cultures thus creating the need to respect each culture of the people. In business ethics, the way to respond to the diversity, ethics is through recruiting a workforce that will ensure an equal opportunity and the different training programs and fulfill what the different employee’s happiness. The task that was delegated to Simon to help me in adopting to the company’s structure was part of the business ethics. This was important, as it would help me in settling well into the department. The obligation does not justify that I should hide out the unethical behavior of Simon where he wants to take advantage of the company’s information in order to suit his financial gains (Hinman, 2013, p. 176).
Solving unethical behavior
In solving the business ethical issues, the management of the business should first identify if the existing any forms of unethical behaviors in the business. This may involve if there is any conflict of interest. The identified issues should be addressed immediately (Geirsson, Holmgren, 2000, p. 232). For instance, Simon unethical behavior may be addressed through granting him some loans that will help in clearing the mortgage debt. The loan will be repaid through the deduction of any amount in the salary. The business organization should notsuck Simon for this mistake, but rather try to help him in determining the reason for his weird act towards the company. Ethic can be achieved by calling him into the board meeting and inquire what was the cause of him behaving in that manner. The business management should also try and come up with proper communication channels that will be used to solve the challenges of the team members. The company should also re-educate the team members on the importance of the business ethics with charts and conveying meetings. This will help in affecting the employees with understanding of keeping confidential information’s safe and to avoid the re-occurrence of such scandals in the future (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2010, p. 143).
The other response that I can give in the situation is to assume and keep quiet about what I found in Simons personal computers. This isbecause he is a close friend to me and he was in charge of inculcating me into the organization'sculture, while I was still a new employee into the organization. He also invited me to meet his family members and I was aware of the financial difficulties he was experiencing. He had an outstanding mortgage, which was at a risk of being taken away, yet he is the breadwinnerof the family (Pojman, 2012, p. 176).
However,doing this may make Simon to go on with his intention of disclosing the information, which is against the ethics of the organization. This may result to challenges in the performance of the organization, thus resulting in poor performance of the organization. This may also lead to lack of trust of the investors and the suppliers who are interested in the business (Schwantes, 2007, p. 432).
The other option is to blackmail Simon or make him confess to the management. This will be difficult for him as he may be rendered unemployed for having attempted to disclose the information, which is against the ethics of the organization. According to the business ethics in our organization, sincerity, and openness is of paramount importance, thus it is better for me to disclose the intentions Simon had rather than blackmailing him to do so (Shaw, 2008, p. 236).
My adoption choice would be the first response. This would encompass broadcasting Simon to the administrators that are in ethical egoism. This body allows the moral agents to act to their own self-interest. This means that one should never sacrifice to help other people benefit, especially if one benefit is equal to others benefits. Nevertheless, ethical egoism does not allow the moral agents to harm others interest while making their decisions. There are three major types of ethical egoism. They include individual, universal, and personal egoism. For the individual egoism, he or she holds the fact that people should act to what benefit his interest. Personal egoism is based on acting to one’s own self-interest. In personal egoism case one does not claim on how others should act. A universal egoist argues that everyone should act to his or her own self-interest. This case was rather based on universal egoism (Beer, 2010, p. 65).
Reasons for the decision are that Simon’s actions were morally not right. This is because Simon was breaching the company’s policy promising a potential act of unsophisticated bad behavior. He also breaches the criminal law to its date section. Considering that, the same situation had occurred to me I would have done nothing. Therefore, I would be later guilty with knowledge that could have been potentially perceived as complicit in this situation (Bredeson, 2012, p. 122).
On the other hand retrieving the information was a legal act since the computers were a property of the company. Being the employer then one has the right to use the computers and to retrieve all information in it and any information in it is owned by the law firms. The main work of the employees was to work on the information they found on their computers. Lawfully instruction that I followed to the letter were authorized to me by the company manager and therefore accessing the computers was a legal act (Czarnecki, 2007, p. 221).
The files were already open in Simon’s personal computer and Justine’s; It had been accidentally maximized that everybody could be able to read it. Therefore, I never even made the effort of searching for the file and opening it. The ones to be blamed for leaking the information would be the managers since they were responsible for feeding information to their employees. Simon was also responsible for his computer displayed the information openly. He must have been the one who had opened it, maximized it, and then left (Bredeson, 2012, p. 98).
Information that is written in the context was obtained in a lawful manner. It is also related to the ethical egoism theories that do advise people not to sacrifice their self-interest for the same level of benefit for others. This method is considered the best method of ethics. The theory did state and gave one the freedom of pursuing either the short term or the long-term interests. The method did maximize overall pleasure in the people who had authority to use it. Based on the current situation in the long-term interest would be to stick or simply to remain in the company. This was my individual desire. It is a pleasure that would make me the happiest if it was fulfilled. This is because it would soon lead to an increment of my salaries through promotions and the continued progression of the company. Reporting Simon would simply not harm me. This is because I would be getting rid of my direct competitor would be an obstacle in my future aggression. Therefore, this would lead to my own interest (Carroll, 2009, p. 132).
Simon on the hand is much more viablefor the company as compared to me. This is because he has long offered his services to the comparable as compared to me. He had been long employed in the company before my arrival. Therefore, he is much looked upon and is likely to take over the management. His chances of promotion are also much higher compared to any other employee in the company. He was considered to be the most loyal and the most knowledge employees on the issues pertaining the company. Therefore, competing with Simon would be a difficult task. The probability of him being always in the winning was also higher. There was also a probability that since I was only in the company for half a year they were likely to take me for probation for one year. The manager of the company could also secure my future if he could see my honesty and integrity of my actions, which are transparent. Therefore, there was great need for me to prove my worth and loyalty to the company (Czarnecki, 2007, p. 221).
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