Chapter 3: Conducting Business Ethically and Responsibly
Ethics in the Workplace
•Ethics: individual standards or moral values regarding what is right and wrong or good and
•Ethical Behavior: behavior that conforms to individual beliefs and social norms about what
is right and good.
•Unethical: behavior that individual beliefs and social norms define as wrong and bad.
•Business ethics: ethical or unethical behavior by a manager or employee of an organization.
•Ethics are personal and societal beliefs
oVary from person to person, society to society, culture to culture.
•Societies may adopt formal laws that reflect prevailing ethical standards or social norms.
•Standards of behavior that guide individual managers in their work.
•3 broad types of behavior
1. Behavior Towards employees:
a. Hiring, firing, wages, working conditions, privacy, and respect.
b. Manager cannot discriminate people based on race.
c.However, manager is allowed to hire a friend or family.
d. Wages and working conditions are somewhat covered by law, but the
manager has power to decide.
2. Behavior Toward the Organization:
a.Ethical issues in conflict of interest, confidentiality, and honesty.
b. Conflict of Interest: Occurs when an activity benefits an individual at
the expense of the employer.
3. Behavior Toward Other Economical Agents
a.Includes behaviors towards suppliers, competitors, stockholders, dealers,
Assessing Ethical Behavior
•3 steps for applying ethical judgments to situations
1. Gather the relevant factual information
2. Determine the most appropriate moral values
3. Make an ethical judgment based on the rightness or wrongness of the proposed
activity or policy.
•4 Broad Ethical Norms
1. Utility: Does the act optimize what is best for those who are affected by it?
2. Rights: Does it respect the rights of the individuals involved?
3. Justice: Is it consistent with what we regard as fair?
4. Caring: Is it consistent with people’s responsibilities to each other?