Business Ethics – Essay Example

Ethics programs and training can be very useful ways to guide employee behavior, because they “help top managers establish an ethical culture and eliminate the opportunity for unethical behavior” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell 206). Additionally, since many of the ethical issues facing organizations are very complicated, employees may simply not understand the ethical aspects at the heart of the problems they face on a daily basis.
Developing training and ethics programs influence employee behavior by “establishing, communicating and monitoring the ethical values and legal requirements that characterize [an organization’s] history, culture, industry, and operating environment” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell 210). Once these have been established, it is significantly easier for employees to act ethically.
An ethical program should include the following components:
Standards and procedures to detect and prevent unethical behavior
Employees who can set ethical policy and punish misdeeds
Ethically-conscious employees running the program
A training program to communicate the standards and procedures
Systems which will monitor and report unethical behavior
Enforcement of the standards and procedures set in place
(Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell 212)
In addition, it is important to continually improve the ethics program, as the workplace environment and the way we interact with it are constantly changing, so that ethical behavior might also be changing (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell 212). By setting into place an ethical program that follows the above steps, an organization can ensure that employees will both understand ethics and act ethically (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell 211).
Ferrell O.C., Fraedrich J., Ferrell J. (2009). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. (7th ed.) Mason, OH : South-Western Cengage Learning.