Considering a majority of capitalistic societies, corporations and private ownership firms are often faced with macro-level corruption, corporate greed, fraud, and other forms of cheating. It is important to instill a basic code of conduct that allows for justice and fairness in the community and more specifically, the business world. This code of conduct comes under the umbrella of, “Business Ethics.”
Ethics may not always be a matter of black and white. In fact, there can be multiple shades of gray that call for the best judgment of the individual faced with the ethical dilemma. They need to understand their responsibility of having a deep-rooted intention to do what is good and morally right. In doing so, they should know how to balance their responsibility as a member of whatever profession they belong to, a member of whatever firm they belong to, and a member of society in general. For example, hiding the defects of a product while selling it will be “good” for the firm that the salesperson belongs to, but at the same time as a member of the society, he or she will be deceiving someone which is morally unacceptable, and this is, therefore, unethical behavior.
As an organizational head, it is important to instill a culture of ethical behavior. A written code of conduct is often engraved in employee handbooks, and careful screenings are done in the hiring process to maintain an ethical environment. A strict set of Internal controls are kept to keep the actions of employees in check and the top management is encouraged to be role models for ethical behavior. Having ethical employees means that they will continue to follow the guidelines on ethics when they are not being supervised. That is when true ethical environments have been installed and that is when the organization is likely to proceed toward excellence.