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Unethical Behavior

The Origin of Unethical Behavior

Ethical considerations in business are important to managers as it is to individuals in their personal lives. Personal life and business life cannot be perfectly separated with respect to moral judgements. A number of factors have been established as significant in making ethical standards a primary concern of business managers.

What are Values?

For the individual, the job is the centre of life, and its value must be, in harmony with the rest of life, if he is to be a whole and healthy personality. In an industrial society. The values tend to become those of the entire corporate culture. The public is insisting that business leaders are, in fact, responsible for the general social welfare and that the manager’s responsibilities go far beyond those of running the business.

Business Ethics

Even if the manager insists on a narrow definition of his role as possible, it is, however, essential that he takes these intangibles into consideration since they are the real motivating force in an organization.

Expectations of the Society:

If an organization did not behave in accordance with the social systems and expectations, it may not merely lose its market share but face another piece of legislated control and might also lose its very right to exist. Many a times managers may be forced to compromise their personal ethics and moral values in order to achieve organizational goals. Everyday ethical decisions are usually made between the lesser of the two evils rather than obvious right and wrong.

Often it may be difficult for the manager to free himself from taking a biased attitude and look at issues objectively. In spite of good intentions, he becomes involved in the situation and it becomes difficult to retreat and take a detached point of view in examining the issue from an ethical standpoint.

In the light of these problems, certain examples can be cited to answer the question as to what constitutes unethical behavior.

  • Padding expense accounts to obtain reimbursement for questionable business expense.
  • Revealing confidential information of trade secrets.
  • Giving or accepting gifts or favors.
  • Using company property and/or materials for personal use.
  • Leaving the job without abiding by the sales contract.
  • Being severely critical of competitors.
  • Attempting to corner opportunities by bribing public officials.
  • Price discrimination, unfair trade practices, unfair pricing etc. ,
  • Dishonesty in fulfilling contracts.
  • Politics inside the organization.

Unless and until the professional manager puts the interest of the organization in front of his own, places the duty to the society above his duty to the organization wholeheartedly, there is no point in talking about ethics in theory. Though a number of firms spend their time, money and energy in formulating statements, in reality their enthusiasm is lost in practice. The gap between the espoused and practiced values creates a dissonance in the minds of the people, and as a result in the organization.