Why must we be Ethical? It is important to note this is about Business Ethics and not just Ethics, the focus is on how we apply Ethics to our various businesses. Ethics itself is concerned with our actions and behaviour. It is pertinent to note that a business organisation does not exist in a vacuum, there are various stakeholders who have an interest in the business and as such, we must consider their interest when we are making decisions for the common good.
These stakeholders include customers, creditors and employees to mention a few. As a business organization, there are responsibilities that you owe these stakeholders. Business Ethics is important because it is not about what you are doing as a business but what you ought to be doing. It is about doing things the right way. It helps us to live a flourishing life and help others to live a flourishing life too.
Business Ethics is about not cutting corners to meet our target. It is important because we must always use the right means to achieve our objectives as a business. It might be difficult to achieve ethical standards but at the end of the day it is the best direction to go. Why should we be concerned about our behaviour and actions? Our actions and behaviour can give people a wrong impression about our organisation and this can lead to the end of our business. If you treat your customers anyhow it will always come back and hunt you and your customers could leave and patronize your competitor. It is about making rational or intelligent decisions and acting in a just and fair way.
Business Ethics is about what is the right thing to do in a given situation hence, people have to be careful about how they act in an organisation because unethical issues and an unethical person in an organization can bring the organisation down. For example: if an employee loves doing the wrong thing in an organization and the organization collapses, this action would not only affect him but equally others who are innocent about the matter. Some employees will lose their jobs, shareholders will lose their investments, customers will lose interest and confidence in the product or service, innocent families will suffer because people have lost their jobs.
Business Ethics calls for reflection and analysis, that is you need to think and reflect how will my actions impact on other people. In making a decision, the organization has to reflect on the different alternatives before making a decision and how it will affect the various stakeholders in the organisation. It is also important to put structures in place in an organisation so that people know and are guided on how to act in the business organisation.
In conclusion, Business Ethics as we have seen is simply about applying ethical principles into business decisions and actions. The organization takes the duties it owes to the various stakeholders into account in making its decisions. The organization recognizes the intrinsic values and dignity of the employees and other stakeholders that contribute to its development by putting policies and system in place to promote the well-being of its employees and other stakeholders. There are different ethical principles we would be discussing in my next series such as Respect and Care, Justice and Fairness just to mention a few.
To be continued