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5 months ago
Write a short note on the sources of unethical behavior.
Business and Its Environment
Edition: 7th
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5 months ago
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Unethical behavior has a number of sources; some are idiosyncratic to the particular individuals involved and others are functions of the managerial practices or the policies of the firm itself. Codes of conduct provide useful guidance, but alone they may be insufficient to prevent unethical behavior and promote ethical behavior. If the culture in the organization encourages or condones questionable behavior or if incentive systems place self-interest before all else, ethical behavior will primarily rest on the personal integrity of employees. Personal integrity may be sufficient for most, but perhaps not all, employees, and for most, but perhaps not all, issues.
Personal weakness and temptation can contribute to unethical behavior in business, as well as in other contexts. This includes situations in which an individual understands what is right but does not have the fortitude to take the right action, perhaps because it involves a degree of personal or career risk. In that case, the policies of the firm should be reexamined to lessen the risks associated with taking the right action.
Unethical behavior can be due to temptation, which can be exacerbated by several factors. First, if there is a belief that others are acting unethically or are succumbing to temptation, an individual may have more difficulty resisting. Second, succumbing to temptation is more likely if the prevailing attitude in the firm involves either shortcutting ethics analysis, using principles only to justify actions taken on other grounds, or practicing casuistry.
Unethical behavior can also result from too narrow a focus on the duties imposed by the law. The law identifies actions that an individual or firm must not take, but the set of lawful actions can be considerably larger than the set of ethical actions. The law provides only minimum restraints on behavior.
Another source of unethical behavior is reliance on an ethics framework that gives insufficient attention to important considerations. Relying only on utilitarianism and ignoring intrinsic rights or justice considerations can result in conduct that violates ethics standards that people hold to be important.
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