ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Legality is more narrow. It refers to laws we have writ- ten to
protect ourselves from fraud, theft, and violence. Many immoral
and unethical acts fall well within our laws.
Ethics reflects people’s proper relations with one another
Ethics is more than legality.
It is not just obeying the law; it is “doing the right thing.”
EHICAL STANDARDS ARE FUNDAMENTAL
We define ethics as the standards of moral behaviour; that is, behaviour
that is accepted by society as right versus wrong.
In a country like Canada, with so many diverse cultures, you might think it
would be impossible to identify common standards of ethical behaviour.
all of the world’s major religions support a version of the Golden Rule: Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Sometimes there is no desirable alternative. Such situations are called ethical
dilemmas because you must choose between equally unsatisfactory alternatives.
It can be very difficult to maintain a balance between ethics and other goals such
as pleasing stakeholders or advancing in your career Ethical Checklist
Is It Legal?
Is It Balanced?
How Will It Make Me Feel About Myself?
Managing Businesses Ethically
Organizational ethics begin at the top.
The leadership and example of strong top managers can help instil
corporate values in employees.
Some managers think that ethics is a personal matter—that individuals
either have ethical principles or they don’t.
Formal corporate ethics codes are popular these days.
Although ethics codes vary greatly, they can be classified into two major
categories: compliance-based and integrity-based.
A business should be managed ethically for many reasons: to maintain a good
reputation; to keep existing customers; to attract new customers; to avoid
lawsuits; to reduce employee turnover; to avoid government intervention (the
passage of new laws and regulations controlling business activities); to please
customers, employees, and society; and simply to do the right thing Compliance-based ethics codes emphasize pre- venting unlawful behaviour by
increasing control and by penalizing wrongdoers. Whereas compliance-based
ethics codes are based on avoiding legal punishment, integrity-based ethics
codes define the organization’s guiding values, create an environment that sup-
ports ethically sound behaviour, and stress a shared accountability among
Setting Corporate Ethical Standards
Whistleblowers: people who report illegal or unethical behaviour among
Whistleblowing Legislation in Canada
• Bill C-11: The Public Servants Protection Disclosure Act
• there is no provision to protect private-sector whistleblowers
Six Steps to Improve Ethics
1. Top management support
2. Expectations begin at the top
3. Ethics imbedded in training
4. Ethics office set up
5. External stakeholders informed
6. There must be enforcement
This last step is perhaps the most critical. No matter how well intended a
company’s ethics code is, it is worthless if it is not enforced Strategies for Ethics Management Both codes have a concern for the law and use
penalties as enforcement. Integrity-based ethics codes move beyond legal
compliance to create a “do-it-right” climate that emphasizes core values such as
honesty, fair play, good service to customers, a commitment to diversity, and
involvement in the community. These values are ethically desirable, but not
necessarily legally mandatory.
COMPLIANCE BASED ETHICS
IDEAL: conform to outside standards( laws and regulations)
Objective: avoid criminal misconduct
Methods- education , reduced employee discretion , controls and penalties
INTEGRITY BASED ETHICS CODE
IDEAL: CONFORM TO OUTSIDE AND CHOSEN INTERNAL STANDARDS
OBJECTIVE: ENABLE RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEE CONDUCT
LEADER: MANAGER WITH AID OF LAWYERS AND OTHERS
METHODS: EDUCATION , ACCOUNTABILITY,, LEADERSHIP , DECISION PROCESSES,
CONTROLS AND PENALTIES
An important factor in the success of enforcing an ethics code is the selection of
the ethics officer. The most effective ethics officers set a positive tone,
communicate effec- tively, and relate well with employees at every level of the
company. They are equally comfortable serving as counsellors or as investigators.
While many ethics officers have backgrounds in law, it is more important that
they have strong communication skills than a background in specific rules,