Ethics refers to morals behavior and principles upon which any human action can be
applied. It has an impact on the decision made by the management to the service the consumer
receives. In recent years moral ethics have been used by various organizations as the key to
success. Ethically minded businesses may use to portray a positive image of the brand, which
creates value and generates new employment opportunities, thus attracting more consumers.
Researchers believe that good ethical practices lead to employees' responsibility, which leads to
excellent service delivery. Many organizations have recognizable mechanisms that identify and
report unethical malpractices by the employees; this helps the management in decision making
and enforcing a company's policies. However, ethical decision-making is the main issue that the
administration can respond to on any business level. How the management handles the problem
determines whether it will be solved appropriately following the policies set by the business.
In any organization, ethics consists of issues regarding the code of conduct and corporate
governance. A system of ethics is required by any business set up for the right policies put in
place to be enforced. For a code of ethics to be considered adequate, an organization's
communication channels and cultural practices must be reviewed. The relationship between the
employer and employee has to be collaborative for the code to be openly discussed and revised
frequently in case problems arise. According to Dr. Warren, the management should ensure that
a proper communication channel exists in an organization for decisions to be communicated
appropriately to the employees. The research also argues that organizations should use a reward
policy whereby the employees who uphold the code of ethics are rewarded for their excellent
behavior. It would motivate the rest of the workforce to enforce the law.
An ethical work climate plays a crucial role in employees' morale or unethical practices;
the workforce involved within organizations usually develops a different system to that
governing them. Although the systems resemble each other, the perception that the employees
describe the work climate to be differs to that used by the management to describe the
employees' understanding of the different situations involved. According to Bart and John
(1988), the decision-making process involved in case an employee is engaged in unethical
malpractices varies among people. An individual's moral behavior is a factor that is considered
when determining the moral atmosphere; this represents the employees' general behavior and
therefore requires the management to emphasize the workforces' moral education.
Organizational forces have a significant impact on ethical decision making in
organizations, and the effects are described by researchers to be macro and micro. Macro issues
involve organization leadership and cultural practices that govern it while micro aspects rely on
social psychology and cognition for analysis. Research shows that ethical decision making in an
organization can be compiled into four factors: recognition, judgment, intent, and behavior
(Thomas & Lori, 1998). Studies show that moral awareness is based on the fact that an
individual should first recognize the ethical aspects involved before making any decision
regarding an issue.
According to Thomas and Lori, the management's desire to be seen as moral by the
employees plays a huge role in the workforce's overall behavior. The desire to achieve ethical
behavior can be described as either desired or anticipated. Desired behavior is the intention of
individuals to be moral, and this desire can be a result of philosophy, religion, socialization, and
impression. The expected behavior is a result of the employees' surround group and is based on
the planned behavior. Moral behavior is involved mostly in situations requiring moral decision
making, the response that an employee gives due to an unethical practice is on certain
characteristics. This includes; the degree of the consequences and complicity of the issue, moral
certainty and the extent of pressure to behave unethically. Research argues that the management
ethical practices have an impact on the employees’ behavior and moral judgment.
Corporate social responsibility is an essential factor to consider since business operations
going on a large scale are subject to market forces that generate public opinion. As a result,
companies following good ethical practices tend to attract large numbers of consumers and
people in society. Corporate social responsibility has been an emerging issue in business, and it
acknowledges how profit is made and how much is earned by a business. Companies' ethical
approach in social responsibility is to reduce the instances of negative publicity and increase
profit on investments made. According to Dr. Warren, CSR assumes that organizations that do
not act according to the industry, ethical practices should be held morally and legally responsible
for their actions. Accountability plays a significant role in the relationship between a company's
board and the stakeholders. For an organization's operations to run smoothly, there needs to be a
mutual agreement between the society and organization.
Times are changing, and standards of ethical practices change over time; this is because
developments in technology enable a safer working environment and reducing ethical
implications. Researchers also argue that for various groups of people, ethical decisions are
based on religious beliefs. However, studies show that religion cannot be used to develop a code
of ethics when the rule of law is at play. Businesses have the responsibility of donating and
sponsoring arts, sports, and the community's cultural activities. They should also be involved in
maintaining the health and wellbeing of society. Businesses should create and promote
educational programs in the community through scholarships, internships, and training at the
local schools (Dr. Warren). CSR leads to building better infrastructure and facilitating the
development of the city while enhancing the corporate image. This creates an excellent
reputation for the stakeholders and government, leading to a reduction in the operational costs.
Institutions in recent years have had an increase in attention, mainly formal organizations,
due to behaviors that are considered to be unethical. According to Susanne and Betha (2006), the
abuse of Abu Ghraib prisoners shows how institutions failed leadership among the management
can lead to a violation of human rights without regard to ethics. Researchers argue that few
individuals are, however, described to be deviant, and this is due to the organizational practices.
Power relationships and structure are some of the significant factors enabling deviance in
organizations. Although studies show the importance of formal organizations, some researchers
consider the organization the main reason for deviant behavior and decision making actions
among various employees. The role played by leaders usually extends to failure to do certain
things, which includes; monitoring, preventing, and also punishing the individuals involved.
In conclusion, a business should have a principle by which people decide what is morally
acceptable. Ethical decision making plays a role in resolving conflicts among different groups
and individuals and should ensure that the moral beliefs of a community are upheld and values
observed. Through ethical inquiry, the study shows that people can learn how to value each
other's decisions and better ways of resolving conflicts. The approaches involved in decision
making should evaluate and provide mechanisms on how an ethical decision will have a positive
impact on everyone. All organizations should educate their employees on industry ethical
practices required by the law; a proper communication channel should be created to ensure that
information reaches all. Ethical decision making is dependent on the opinion and beliefs of an
individual. How the ideas are applied is dependent on other factors, but an individual should use
what he/she considers the best choice.
Husted, B. W. (1993) 'Reliability and the design of ethical organizations: A rational systems
Journal of Business Ethics, 12(10), 761-769.
Jones, TM & Ryan, LV (1998) 'The effect of organizational forces on individual morality:
Judgment, moral approbation, and behavior, Business Ethics Quarterly, 8 (3), 431-
Monahan, S. C., & Quinn, B. A. (2006) 'Beyond ‘bad apples’ and ‘weak leaders’ Toward a
neo-institutional explanation of organizational deviance
Theoretical Criminology, 10(3), 361-385.
Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1988) 'The organizational bases of ethical work climates
Administrative Science Quarterly, 101-125.