Essentials of Business Ethics – Chapter 6: Ethics Training
Ethics training initiates dialogue at work around contentious ethical issues and has greater impact on
employee behaviors than the presence of an ethics code or memos from the boss. Ethics training
helps to create a culture of trust. People employed in organizations with formalized ethics training
have more positive perceptions about their organization’s ethics and greater job satisfaction.
Web-based Ethics Training
Internet ethics training programs should supplement, not replace the most effective ethics training
method – faciliatator-guided face-to-face interactions and group activities. Another inadequacy of
web-based training is that employees are not pushed out of their ethics comfort zone. Interactive
training workshops can also enhance team building and collegiality.
Facilitating an Ethics Discussion
Create a safe learning environment by choosing someone the participants trust. Some employees will
not speak honestly in front of a HR employee, particularly about ethical issues, because of fear of
being fired or negative impact on performance evaluations.
Best option is to train an informal leader from within the work unit who has management potential.
A good facilitator inspires self-learning among the participants by keeping everyone focused on the
main issue while being flexible to new issues as they arise. The facilitator should encourage
participants to analyze and modify their own views.
Ethics Training Workshop Options
1. Code of Ethics assessment – review the code with the employees
2. Code of Conduct content – create a quiz asking questions about the organization’s code of
3. Code of conduct violations and outcomes – present actual cases of employees
4. Applying the code to specific situations – real life examples and what would you do
5. Creating business ethics scenarios for discussion – employees create the scenarios
6. Applying the ethics decision making framework – on real life situations
7. Ethical hazard approaching – review a list of common rationalizations for unethical behavior
and discuss situations when these reasons have been given to justify behaviors
8. Personality analysis – administer surveys that measure character attributes associated with
ethical or unethical behavior
9. Ideal employee expectations – develop a profile of an ideal employee, have employees
assess themselves to this ideal in survey format
10. Work as a calling – reflect on making job tasks enjoyable and meaningful experiences.
Code of ethics assessment training – employees should annually assess the organization’s ethical
performance based on its code of ethics.
Applying the Ethics Decision Making Framework Training
This training workshop teaches employees how to apply the ethics decision making framework to
Facilitating an Ethics Dialogue Workshop: 1. Distribute the six question ethics decision