There is much talk today about ethics in business – as there should be, but there should be more than talk; there should be a high moral code for all executives who are responsible to both their customers and their shareholders. When employees know the true how and why behind organizational strategy, decision-making, and performance management, they generally feel more trust toward the management of their organization and thus can become more committed and engaged in their work.
If top executives and top executive management say one thing but do another, the message of ethical behavior gets very confusing. It is important that all the people in the company believe that is critical that all its employees act at all times in an honest and ethical manner in connection with their service to the company.
The philosophy of business also deals with questions such as what, if any, are the social responsibilities of a business; business management theory; theories of individualism vs. collectivism; free will among participants in the marketplace; the role of self interest; invisible hand theories; the requirements of social justice; and natural rights, especially property rights, in relation to the business enterprise.
For example, I was speaking with an executive who shared with me that in one government organization people submit their time sheets two weeks ahead of actual working the time. It deals with issues regarding the moral and ethical rights, duties and corporate governance between a company and its shareholders, employees, customers, media, government, suppliers and dealers.
We need to ask these questions: “How ethically vulnerable is our company or organization?” “What are the core values and guiding principles of our company or organization?” “Are we committed to living and exhibiting our core values in everything we do?” The answers to these questions will define the state of ethics in our business.