What are Ethics in the Workplace?
Ethics in relation to work is a set of daily cultivated values and principles that are based on diligence and hard work. It carries such qualities as arriving at the workplace on time, being self-motivated, holding a positive outlook towards work and people especially clients and intuitiveness which makes the person be initiative. It is the belief that the normal work carries a moral benefiting factor and that it possesses an inherent capability to modify, strengthen and influence character. The ethics in the workplace make the legal binding aspect that if proper ethics is established and adhered to, the ethical code will be right, and the boundaries will be maintained (Mahajan, 2008).. The ethics in the workplace involves following the proper chain of command and efficient delegating of duties if one is in a powerful pos or responsibility which involves discarding discriminatory assigning of work and performance appraisal to the rightful deserving people in the work category.
According to Weiss (2008), ethical boundaries in the workplace should ensure the accommodation of privacy so that they can work efficiently to prevent arbitrary and illegitimate use of workplace power. This is so as to ensure that the moral dilemmas that can crop out of a given work place are minimal, and the legal aspect of the workplace regulations are upheld and followed to the latter. Ethical misdemeanor in the workplace can cause the boundaries to be crossed, and this can lead to legal implications due to the ramifications of some ethical misconduct such as impropriety in the workplace. The legal formalities to be followed are sometimes severe and usually result to termination of someone’s working status permanently, or the legal implications lead to court cases and public defaming in most of the scenarios especially when the issue is based on gender and discrimination. This is the ethical workplace code that should be upheld to ensure proper running of business and financial institutions.
Anglo-American and Primark ethical practice
Companies behave ethically according to the nature of the work that the company operates in. Anglo-American is a mining company that operates on a global scale. Its main operations are based in African countries. In these countries, ethical behavior is highly required considering the fact that Africa is plagued by poverty and poor working conditions. In addition, mining is a complicated practice that requires the company to act in a considerable way to avoid pollution and environmental degradation (B. E.C.S.R, n.d.).
One example of Anglo-American company ethical behavior is its business practices in South Africa. As a developing country, South Africa faces both economic and social shortcomings. Anglo-American supports the government of South African to alleviate poverty and to reduce the spread of HIV virus around the country (B. E.C.S.R, n.d.). Further, the company is involved in other programs that ensure that the inequality ratio in healthcare, employment availability and education is reduced significantly. The company has managed to launch the largest HIV testing center in the world. This is very useful to the community because it shows that the company behaving in an ethical manner.
Primark organization is also involved in ethical practices and procedures, in its daily business practices. For instance, the organization operates in more than two countries. Its main source of human resource is through outsourcing. Outsourcing has been exploited by other companies operating in this line of work to exploit poor works. In most cases, the employers pay very minimal wages to the workers making it very difficult for them to sustain themselves. However, Primark respects the rights of his workers who total to more than 700, 000 in various continents (The Times 100 n.d.). The company ensures that ethical practices are observed to ensure the well being of the employees.
To ensure that the company follows ethical procedures, the Primark organization has a Trade Ethical Director. The role of this director is to oversee ethical outsourcing and management. In addition, The Company is a member of ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative). The role of ETI is to ensure that the well fare of every employee in the world is well catered for and that ethical behaviors are observed by companies while dealing with employees (The Times 100 n.d.).
Discuss the costs and benefits to an organization when that organization behaves ethically
Ethical practices may be costly to organizations that practice them but they may be a solution to long-term goals. Many companies also incur losses and extra financial inputs in an effort to behave ethically. Ethical behavior is imperative for the smooth running of organizations. Svennson & Woods are right to believe that ethical factor plays an indispensable role in the success of the business. As observed, there are several major interpersonal skills such as communication, supervising, responsibility, and guiding (Svennson & Wood, 2007). All these skills are interdependent on each other, but most of all they depend on clear communication links between organization members. Challenges can result from differing attitude towards responsibility, as well as conflicting norm for making decisions. A group leader is mandated to consider all the roles, whether formal or informal, which exist within a team. When no roles exist, what is needed, for example, project scheduler, project lead, should be evaluated based on the these aspects: strategic goals, the project in consideration, expertise, skills, long-term strategic goals, and group’s organizational structure (Svennson & Wood, 2007).
Competencies should be developed specific to each role, and assessments should be conducted base on the same competencies. These competencies should include both management leadership competencies (negotiation skills, team skills, communication, and management) and technical competencies. According to Svennson & Wood, This is because technical competencies are not sufficient enough to guarantee success in project execution (Svennson & Wood, 2007). Organizations are faced by many challenges such as time management, motivation, and experience. It is only through challenges that a group can move forward and learn from experience through application of theories.
There are costs associated with behaving in an ethical way for an organization. For instance, Primark incurs extra costs for auditing its suppliers and other business arms. The other organizations may not incur such costs when they do not behave in an ethical way. Furthermore, an ethically behaving organization such a Primark incurs further costs for transacting with ethical organizations (Mahajan, 2008). However, the organizations that behave ethically position themselves strategically in the market as people see them as responsible organizations. Besides, ethical behavior is part of CSR that benefits the entire community (Mahajan, 2008)..
According to Svennson & Wood, ethical behavior benefits the organization in many ways (Svennson & Wood, 2007). For instance, Anglo-American has created a very good rapport with external stake holders in South Africa. The work done by the company for the country while behaving ethically is rewarded very handsomely by the government. The company now enjoys a large market in the mining industry in the country and the stock exchange courtesy of the government, one of its external stake holders. This is because Anglo-American supports the South African government to alleviate poverty and to reduce the spread of HIV virus around the country. The government has a good relationship with the company because, as a developing country, South Africa faces both economic and social shortcomings.
In conclusion, ethics in relation to work is a set of daily cultivated values and principles that are based on diligence and hard work. The ethics in the workplace make the legal binding aspect that if proper ethics is established and adhered to, the ethical code will be right, and the boundaries will be maintained. Furthermore, it carries such qualities as arriving at the workplace on time, being self-motivated, holding a positive outlook towards work and people especially clients and intuitiveness which makes the person be initiative.
Companies behave ethically according to the nature of the work that the company operates in. For instance, Anglo-American is a mining company that operates on a global scale. Its main operations are based in African countries. In these countries, ethical behavior is highly required considering the fact that Africa is plagued by poverty and poor working conditions. Secondly, Primark organization is also involved in ethical practices and procedures, in its daily business practices. Its main source of human resource is through outsourcing. Outsourcing has been exploited by other companies operating in this line of work to exploit poor works. However, The Company ensures that ethical practices are observed to ensure the well being of the employees.
Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. (n.d.). ANGLO AMERICAN. Retrieved December 28, 2013, from http://www.angloamerican.co.uk
Mahajan, C. P. (2008). Concepts & solutions of business ethics. Jaipur, India: ABD
Svensson, G., & Wood, G. (2007). A Model Of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 77(3), 303-322.
The Times 100 Teaching business studies by example. (n.d.). The Times 100. Retrieved December 29, 2013, from http://www.thetimes100.co.uk
Weiss, J., W. (2008). Business Ethics: A Stakeholders and Issues Management Approach
with Cases. Boston: Cengage Learning Publishers.