There is much talk today about ethics in business – as there should be, but there should be more than talk; there should be a high moral code for all executives who are responsible to both their customers and their shareholders. Unfortunately this development happens at a very early age and is largely dependent on, and limited by, the individual’s inherent cognitive ability to self-construct categories of ethics (like justice, duty, rights, and social order) and to determine which concepts of ethics are more developed (and therefore better) than others.
For example in the accounting department, if unfair pressure is put on employees to deliver an audit report which has been altered or not showing current accounts of the organization would be un ethical, as it does not follow the standards and policies set by the organization.
Although not all strategic decisions can be played out in a public forum for competitive and confidentiality reasons, the outcomes of those decisions (changes to organizational structure, design, resource allocation, product direction etc.) should be communicated as thoroughly as possible including the rationale and criteria behind the decision to help employees understand the decision and make a better connection between the firm’s espoused values and those used to make important decisions.
The National Academy of Engineering cites example of how Texas Instruments’ leadership is focusing on ethical behavior on its on line ethics center (). The company has created a website for employees to visit which lists hundreds of articles which have been published in corporate magazine TINews.
Peoples’ conflicting beliefs are revealed daily in expressions such as “It’s just business” (which attempts to exonerate commerce of all but the hardest of legislative controls) and, conversely, in aspirations such as “We will only prosper through creating win-win situations with partners and customers”.