This chapter will discuss some of the challenges associated with conflicting values, social responsibility of companies, and how to manage this in the workplace.
- 5.1: Prelude to Being Ethical at Work
- Last week, a customer came in and said his seventeen-year-old daughter had been in an accident. The store had sold a defective DevilsDeat brake pad, and his daughter was almost killed. Jeremy apologized profusely and replaced the part for free. Three more times that week customers came in upset their DevilsDeat products had malfunctioned. Jeremy replaced them each time but began to feel really uncomfortable with the encouragement of selling an inferior product.
- 5.2: An Ethics Framework
- Ethics is defined as a set of values that define right and wrong. Can you see the challenge with this ambiguous definition? What exactly is right and wrong? That obviously depends on the person and the individual situation, which is what makes ethics difficult to more specifically define. Values are defined as principles or standards that a person finds desirable. So we can say that ethics is a set of principles that a person or society finds desirable and help define right and wrong.
- 5.3: Making Ethical Decisions
- Now that we have working knowledge of ethics, it is important to discuss some of the models we can use to make ethical decisions. Understanding these models can assist us in developing our self-management skills and relationship management skills. These models will give you the tools to make good decisions, which will likely result in better human relations within your organization.
- 5.4: Social Responsibility
- Being socially responsible shows both social awareness and self-management skills—i.e., an awareness of how our decisions affect others. This section will discuss social responsibility on the corporate level and social responsibility on the individual level. As we discussed with ethical company standards, it is difficult to separate corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility from individual ethics and social responsibility, since people are the ones making the corporate policies.