Rarely is there the character who does no longer stumble upon an ethical or ethical dilemma in some unspecified time in the future in his or her commercial enterprise life? Whether or not that man or woman is the owner of a multinational agency, a small business entrepreneur, or a new or set up worker, everybody is likely to need to face such an instance subsequently. Similar to a personal moral dilemma, a character is faced with you make a decision primarily based on how it’s going to affect now not handiest himself, however on how it’s going to affect the agency as a whole. One of the major problems whilst dealing with an ethical catch 22 situation in the enterprise is that individuals are often swayed with the aid of business profits and the legality of a decision.
The Institute of commercial enterprise Ethics, whose slogan is “doing enterprise ethically makes for the better commercial enterprise”, describes the time period enterprise ethics as such.
Enterprise ethics is the software of ethical values to enterprise behavior. It applies to any and all aspects of commercial enterprise behavior, from boardroom techniques and the way organizations, deals with their providers to sales techniques and accounting practices. Ethics is going beyond the legal necessities for an agency and is, consequently, discretionary. Enterprise ethics applies to the behavior of individuals and to the behavior of the organization as a whole. It is approximately how an enterprise does its enterprise, how it behaves intrinsically.
As clean as this definition is, it’s far genuinely open to interpretation. Consequently, it has to be understood that the software of enterprise ethics to any situation is completely subjective.
One also can recognize commercial enterprise ethics, and ethics of any type, as applying an experience of fairness to a state of affairs. In spite of a feeling of clarity carried out to the usage of commercial enterprise ethics, reaching a simple and ethical decision may be a complicated procedure for maximum people. The situation of enterprise ethics has been a source of tremendous debate in latest years as the heads of most important (and minor) companies are found out as less than ethical characters both within the manner they do commercial enterprise and of their private behavior. But, it can be said that any character who does not exercise enterprise ethics cannot be individually moral despite the fact that the opposite may not also be true. Ethics in generally has an extended record of programs. Centuries ago a person’s moral practices defined who he was as a person. However, as populations grew, the need for incorporating the first-rate business practices right into an agency became somehow less vital due to the fact there has been continually every other purchaser around the nook and the owner of an enterprise turned into hardly ever the focal point of attention in a community the manner he or she might also have been in the beyond. An agency’s management took a seat inside the heritage and employed representatives to cope with any fallout. Ethics rely on several elements, one of the maximum important of that’s a lifestyle. Again, like the enterprise character of the beyond, a lifestyle’s ethics practices will largely rely upon the price that is placed on them. Enterprise ethics have the unappealing conflict of regularly being contrary to what is a felony. Often what’s “right” is not necessarily what is criminal, and a commercial enterprise must consider this conflict while making ethical judgments. Despite the fact that there are numerous business international who consider that a business has no room for ethics if it is to feature competitively, the numbers of company whistleblowers imply that there’s nevertheless room for ethics in enterprise.
Western societies place a great deal of emphasis on success. However, in business, there are often conflicts between ethical behavior and business success. This disparity is often multiplied for the small business owner. To compete with larger businesses, it may be tempting to abandon ethics just to make an adequate profit. Additionally, the small business person is relatively autonomous in his or her decision making; he or she does not have to answer to a large employee base or a corporate governing board. It is also interesting to note that the small business leader often has his or her decisions impact a greater number of individuals than does the employee of the small business. For instance, a small business owner may have his or her decision affect his or her customer base as well as his or her employee base. The employee will likely find that his or her decision will only directly impact his or her immediate circle of coworkers. However, the pressure to succeed is both an internal and external pressure and often leads individuals to make ethical decisions that are based more on those pressures than their own moral judgment. As consumers grow wary of those that they do business with, one must understand that there is just cause for such wariness. The cynical American consumer has learned, often the hard way, that there is little room in business for ethics. In a society where the customer used to be king, the consumer has more often than not experienced several distasteful experiences with business both large and small.
Some experts argue that any focus on profitability is bound to test the limits of ethical practices. They assert that to assume that the primary function of a business is to serve its client base in an ethical manner is idealistic and that the nature of a free economy dictates that ethics must take a back seat to increase profits. Although it is rarely the conscious intent of a business to harm the public interest, reality dictates that the business’s ability to increase profits will determine its success. Publicly owned companies experience extra pressure in this arena. It is difficult to draw investors to a company based on its ethics. Investors are looking for a return on their investment and ethical performance does not equal dollars. There are economists that assert that, in any competitive economy, ethics are impossible to uphold; that a company can legitimately bypass ethics with the excuse that unethical practices are the only way to make a profit.
Unlike the larger corporations, the small business leader is in a unique position to shape the ethical practices of his or her business. Small businesses have a smaller employee base to police when applying ethical policies than do larger businesses. It is important to understand that, similar to the ethical dilemmas of the large corporations, although an individual surely knows the difference between the correct ethical decision and the wrong road, the choice to throw ethics to the wind is often made because the unethical choice is more profitable. This may, however, happen much less often in smaller organizations because the individual or individuals who are harmed by the unethical decision and someone is always harmed, is more visible to the small business. Major corporations and their decision-making machines are often far removed from the individuals that their immoral and/or unethical decisions affect. This may make the wrong decision much easier to make.
The unique position that the small business owner is in regarding the formation of an ethics policy yields a great responsibility. A proactive business leader formulates a statement of organizational values that employees of the company are expected to embrace – at least while performing duties in the service of the company. An organizational ethics policy is an announcement to the employees, the customer base, and the community as a whole that the business is prepared to conduct itself and its practices on an ethical level. Such statements invite the respect of all parties involved in doing business with such an entity. However, it is imperative that the small business owner not make the same mistake that larger organizations often do; the ethical policies that a business develops must not be in conflict with the organizational goals. It is unethical in itself to develop an ethical policy that an employee cannot possibly follow and maintain his or her employment. When faced with the decision between an ethical decision and his or her job, an employee will almost always choose the job.
Therefore the policy must be in reasonable alignment with the organizational goals of the business. It is equally important, and maybe more so, that the small business leader lead by example. Employees, especially in a smaller organization, are less likely to conduct themselves ethically if they receive implicit permission not to. The end result of such a practice is that the small business owner can be assured that he or she is conducting business in a manner that encourages the trust of his or her customers as well as his or her employees. And since consumers have become very wary of doing business with an entity they feel they cannot trust, the small business can enjoy the profits of a loyal customer base. The small business owner has an advantage over the larger corporations in that it can elicit the trust of the consumer by applying ethical business practices that give the customer the feel of an equal business relationship rather than one where the consumer buys based on need alone. There are many that believe that such practices are capable of drawing business away from the large corporate entities and back into a customer-focused business format.
Rebecca J. Stigall is a full-time freelance writer, author, and editor with a background in psychology, education, and sales. She has written extensively in the areas of self-help, relationships, psychology, health, business, finance, real estate, fitness, academics, and much more! Rebecca is a highly sought after ghostwriter with clients worldwide and offers her services through her website at