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Workplace Ethics Essays

The Importance of Ethics in the Workplace

From birth, most of us are taught what is right and wrong. Ethics is a trait that most human beings acquire, but with differences in values and perspectives, it may be hard to achieve. The problem lies in how ethics are taught to people. It is our duty as Americans and people on this Earth to train ourselves to become ethical in every thing we do. We should be practicing good ethics everywhere, at work, home, and school. Having good ethics should be part of our daily lives. This paper will discuss ethics and the importance of it in the workplace.

The Random House Dictionary (1999) defines ethics as: "1 A system of moral principles", "2 The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.", "3 Moral principles, as of an individual", and "4 the branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions." The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning (Paul & Elder, 2003) breaks down the definition of ethics a little further. In the reading, it lists and shows examples of ethical concepts. The first ethical concept mentioned is, "Going beyond what is obligated to improve the lives of others." The traits of the concept are described as being charitable, generous, unselfish, and humanitarian. This ethical concept and its traits are similar to the United States Air Force's Core Value, "Service before Self." An example of this branch's core value is troops deploying to defend our nation and to protect the rights of the innocent. This core value shows them being unselfish by leaving their families behind. This is a very selfless act that the troops are showing America and the world. There are many other groups in America and around the world that show these traits. One particular trait that is shown is humanitarianism. Projects like Habitat for Humanities and the Peace Corps show an extreme amount of generosity and charity to help others. Even while watching ABC's Extreme Makeover's Home Editions, you see ordinary people trying to help underprivileged or unfortunate families. This is a very important trait for everyone to acquire, and it truly touches one's spirit. Another concept stated was "Relating to people in ethically appropriate ways". These traits include being civil, polite, tolerant, tactful, respectful, and courteous. People should possess these very important traits, although they may not show it all the time. Now that we have looked at a couple of good ethical traits, let's look at bad ethical concepts and traits.

One of the concepts of an unethical person is, "Using intellectual skills to get others to act against their own best interest." (Paul & Elder, 2003) Some traits of a person portraying this type of behavior are cunning, sly, crafty, trickery, double-dealing, misleading, and deluding. Some perfect examples of this type of person who possess these traits are Osama Bin Laden, Saddem Hussein, and Adolf Hitler. Over the years, we have seen countless acts where these men have used their skillful, devious minds to lead many followers to perform horrific deeds. Other traits that these men possess are causing pain or suffering, ignoring the rights and needs of others to get what they want and causing emotional discomfort: This is a short list of these concepts, but there are many more details of an unethical person.

There are three main reasons why we as human beings have had a hard time becoming ethically abiding citizens. They are: the ability to distinguish between ethics and Social Conventions, Religion, and Law. Social Conventions deal with the customs and traditions of individual groups, for example the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis. The reason it is hard for these groups to become ethical is because they are taught from birth that their beliefs are correct. Anyone who disagrees with the teachings of these extremist groups is seen as the enemy. Religion deals with the nature of spirituality. One will never be able to base ethics on of the beliefs of religion. This would be a never-ending debate on which religion would take precedence. For example, some religions believe that it is acceptable to marry more than one woman, while other religions don't believe this type of behavior is appropriate. Laws in any society may or may not be based on ethical principles. History has shown that laws change, sometimes yearly. For a period of about one hundred years, America was able to have slaves. If slaves ran away from their owners, they could be punished by being hung or tortured. Today, slavery is illegal in America. In today's society, we do not hang individuals for crimes, but depending on the crime; many states allow the death penalty. As you can see, these three reasons can hinder anyone from thinking ethically.

It is very important for everyone to be as ethical as possible. With all the distractions of the world, one can easily be swayed to act or perform in either an ethical or unethical way. We must look at every aspect of ethics, both good and bad to decide whether we are doing the right or wrong thing. It is truly in everyone's best interest to be an ethical abiding citizen. Much strife has happened in the world from people having weak minds and letting unethical people control their thoughts. In order to overcome these events, we must train our minds to be ethical at all times. It is not as easy as it seems. Emotions can cause anyone to become angry or sad, and these emotions can hinder one's judgment

There are two questions that are very useful when deciding if something is or is not ethical. (Paul & Elder, 2003) The first question is called a simple question. Simple questions are questions that have an obvious answer. An example of a simple question is "Is it cruel to subject an innocent animal to torture?" As an ethical person, one knows that it is wrong to subject any animal to cruelty such as torture. This event would be entirely unethical. The second question is called a complex question. A complex question is one that can be argued more than one way by using ethical principles. An example of a complex question would be "Under what conditions, if any, should animals be used in cloning experimentations?" This question would actually have to be debated. Some animal rights activist might say that it is never right for anyone to experiment on animals. Other people may believe that, since it is for a good cause, using animals for experimentation is acceptable. These two questions,


Workplace Ethics Essay

474 Words2 Pages

I can describe ethics in the workplace as the right way to act on the job, whether you are the manager or the employee. You can use ethics positively the right way or negative and possibly get yourself and or others fired. I worked at Target for two and a half years and I only have experienced one negative ethical situation. I was hired at Target to be an overnight stocker during Target’s remodeling. There was a team of us five guys and three girls. One night our supervisor called in and said that she was not going to be able to come until the morning. To everyone expect for me, since I was new, this was normal. Our supervisor left a list of instructions for us to follow that night and told us that if anyone had any problems or…show more content…

All of the guys plopped down on the couch and turned the TV onto some basketball game. The girls on the other hand I thought went out to the floor to work, nope they went out to chitchat with each other and look at the merchandise. Keeping in mind this is my first week on the job I didn’t want to get fired, but I did not know what the first thing I was supposed to do in order to start working. I walked around the store for about an hour straightening up the merchandise on the shelves. Then I got a little overwhelmed and frustrated. I went to the bathroom and cried for about another hour. I was wondering why this had to happen to me now or maybe I was being too uptight and I should go join the rest of my team. Eventually my team got on track and began working. I felt relieved. We had lost so much time lollygagging that we had the split up and rush the whole night to get things done. In the morning, when our supervisor got there she was pleased with our work as usual and she never found out about that night. I believe that I could have done a lot of things to prevent my team members from goofing around when my boss was gone. I could have talked to my team members and asked then to continue to work like normal even when the boss is gone, because they’ll never know who could be watching. I should have told my supervisor what happen and explained how felt lost. I could have even got the list of instructions and did everything my self. It was a very tough

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