Principles With Professional Practice

Introduction

Managers, as well as policymakers, are increasingly using business ethics, as they consider it, a vital aspect that cannot be left to chance. This is owing to the fact that ethical violations and also irresponsible behavior do result in negative publicity, crumbling and consequently long-term damage of reputation (Ciulla, 1998). In this regard, companies have purposed to adopt a systematic and pro-active approach towards managing business ethics in their various lines of operations. This is achievable by enforcing and embracing the concept of business ethics management, which attempts to manage various ethical issues and problems using specific policies, programs, as well as practices (Driscoll & Hoffman, 2000). This paper purposes to integrate ethical principles with professional practice, whilst considering the core values and/or essential principles and practices in professional practice. This is brought forth in theoretical underpinnings as provided below.

It is evident that all organizations have unique ethical characters, which determine what all their members think, do and also say. Moreover, the ethical characters influence the manner in which external stakeholders view the organization. The identity of an organization as being socially responsible is determined in four different levels, including compliance; value added, risk management, as well as reputation enhancement (Hitt, 1990). Noteworthy, purposing to set objectives towards these four levels of an enterprise’s identity and also achieving them, aids an organization to achieve its goal of embracing business ethics. Corporate social responsibility reflects how an organization meets its social responsibilities as a community member, which then forms its corporate identity (Johnson, 2001). This influences the way the community perceives the business and the way the business perceives itself.

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The business’ ethics program poses as a vital core value that enhances a competitive strategy for corporate social responsibility. The ethics programs that address compliance, as well as risk management purpose to consider the lowest levels of identity, whereas those addressing reputation enhancement, and also value added, purposes to address the highest identity levels systematically (Kidder, 2005). Overall, it is evident that business ethics aid an organization in establishing its identity essence in the community, and this includes its core values, purpose, as well as its envisioned future. Moreover, business ethics provides a significant tool for creating standards, as well as procedures that ensure that the organizational values are significantly reflected, and purposes to employ a systematic process that reaches its stakeholders effectively, thus aiding in achieving strategic outcomes (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).

Fair-trading

Ethical trading refers to an organizational practice, which purposes to follow the required codes of conduct, whilst ensuring that the employees’ labor rights are respected. In this regard, fair trade is regarded to be more than meeting the right code of practice and meeting the required labor standards (McCoy, 2007). Organizations that engage in the ethical practice of fair trade purpose to work in partnership with various marginalized, as well as disadvantaged individuals or groups, in order to try and assist them in overcoming serious barriers, which they may be facing whilst trying to sustain their livelihood (Kolk, 2016). Therefore, it is required that a fair trade business should be ethical, although an ethical business should not necessarily engage in fair-trading (Osland et al., 2001). Fair-trading aids in risk management and compliance, which then implies that an organization is socially responsible, not only to the employees but also to other stakeholders (Frynas & Yamahaki, 2016; cited in Aragón et al., 2016).

Green Alliances

Significantly, a business cannot be sustainable if it does not engage in activities, which benefit the society. Such activities include engaging in green alliances, in order to fulfil the societal needs, and in return, build the reputation of the organization, and ensure value addition to the society (Taghian et al., 2015). It is worth noting that the society desires sustainable lifestyles, and in engaging in green alliance, the organization has significant growth opportunities. On the other hand, it is evident that consumers expect to have a high level of ethical, as well as environmental standards, and as such, the organizations should be obligated to have corporate decision-making whilst collaborating with environment-protecting organization, in order to enhance sustainability for the society. Overall, it is significant to note that the obligation of the organization to engage in green alliance depicts its corporate social reputation, as it offers services for the societal benefit (Rossouw & Van Vuuren, 2017).

The impact of corporations on society

A responsible organization conducts its activities and makes significant decisions whilst ensuring that it is adding value to its society. Significant to note is the fact that a responsible organization purposes to make profit but also ensures that it takes into account, the impact it has on the society (Fernando & Moore, 2015). For instance, various organizations have programs that assist in quality assurance, which aids them in meeting their responsibilities to the society. Although this is often not considered in the business ethics, it is evident that a business production of poor-quality goods may lead to consumer fraud or even a violation of the liability laws (the laws that violate compliance, as well as risk management). Moreover, production of low-quality goods damages the reputation of the organization and adds little value to the society (Crane & Matten, 2016). As such, an organization can impact the society in various ways including service the most vital needs of its customers, providing gainful employment to the societal members, providing adequate returns to its investors, competing intensely, yet fairly, and respecting the environment amongst others. Overall, in order to be responsible, an organization must apply all the ethical standards, which enable it to embrace all the four levels of identity.

Risk analysis and management

In order to make ethics, as well as compliance programs effective, a business should purpose to go an extra mile beyond legal compliance and as such, should consider the industry that it operates in, and analyze the market risks systematically. As such, the business can be able to assess its customers, suppliers, as well as the competition risks. Moreover, a business should examine its organizational policies, processes, as well as activities and also consider its organizational culture, in order to determine whether it has a history of problems, conflict or even disharmony (Halinen & Jokela, 2016). Evidently, risk management aids in protecting the reputation of an organization. Failing to address these risks may lead to regulatory action, civil lawsuits, stakeholder dissatisfaction, and debarment from having government contracts among other consequence.

Understanding organizational values first begin with the analysis of values, at a personal and organizational level. Effective managers need to be aware of their values, morals, as well as their system of ethics. On the other hand, employees are required to work in environments, after considering their ethical preferences, as well as a connection of their personal values and those of the organization (Beltramini, 2016). There should be a connection between an organizational value system and a leader’s ability to use the values in making ethical decisions for the organization, which assist in achieving the mission of the organization. Josephson Institute (2009) aligns six pillars of characters that can be applied to a business and they include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Through these characters, an organization can be socially responsible by purposing to make the society a better place. This is owing to the fact that when leaders adhere to these six pillars in running their day-to-day activities, there would be ethical decision-making, and thus, a creation of an ethical environment for the society.

Code of ethics

In order to cope with the emergence of global standards, as well as best practices, organizations establish a code of conduct, in which they set standards, and also procedures, which are required of their employees to follow. The organizations also communicate them, and constantly want to know whether these standards and procedures are being followed. Of importance is the fact that they act accordingly in an instance where the code of ethics is violated or when the shareholders complain (Ims & Pedersen, 2015). A clearly formulated code of ethics provides the employees with significant guidance, as well as information that they may need for efficient, effective, and also responsible actions.

The code of ethics’ structural components includes the following: standards and procedures that aid in guiding employee behavior and fosters the expectations of the stakeholders. Secondly, it provides adequate structures, as well as systems, which enforces authority, accountability, sustainability, as well as responsibility (Beltramini, 2016). Thirdly, it communicates the standards, expectations, as well as procedures to the organizational members. Fourthly, it monitors and audits the conducts of the members. Fifthly, it encourages members to often seek advice, and also report significant concerns. Sixthly, it provides diligence when hiring, particularly in sensitive positions such as finance. Seventhly, it encourages members to be following the standards and procedures. Eighthly, it provides appropriate responses, when these standards and procedures have been violated and finally, it provides a regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the ethical program (Trevino & Nelson, 2016).

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Conclusion

Based on the above discussion, it is evident that indeed, business ethics is significant for any organization, in order to be socially responsible, thus building the reputation of the organization, adding value, engaging in compliance, and managing risk. Significantly, these would need a collaborative team, where the employees, organizational management and other stakeholders purpose to achieve the goal of the organization. This paper notes that when an organization engages in irresponsible behavior and violates its ethics, the organization would suffer by facing long-term damage to its reputation. As such, business organizations purpose to adopt a systematic and pro-active approach in managing business ethics in all their operations.

References

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