3 best policies of organizations. However in the changed competitive situations we find thatdownsizing, delayering, outsourcing production systems raise questions about the fundamental premise of previously laid down good practices. Consequently, there is no clear moral compass toguide leaders through complex dilemmas about what is right or wrong. Attention to ethics in theworkplace sensitizes leaders and staff to how they should act. Perhaps most important, attention toethics in the workplaces helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crisesand confusion, they retain a strong moral compass.Let us consider the following questions that are likely to arise in our mind with respect toethics.
What kind of knowledge does ethics lay claim to? How is such knowledge defined?
What is its relevance/application to business conduct?
How is morality acquired? What are the origins of ethics as systems of belief?
Should we be good all the time? Must the answer always be "Yes" or are there degrees of corrector wrongful action?
Is morality necessarily related to religion?
Is questionable morality necessarily criminal or needing a framework of control and sanction?What form does a framework of sanction take for example for a businessperson operating inglobal market place? For example, an organization may be following all that is required regarding pollution in a particular country. However, in some other country the rules may not be sostringent regarding pollution control. Now, should the organization follow the same stringentrules?
Are some acts committed by people always wrong (murder, theft, corrupt practice, exploitation of others, damaging and irreversible destruction of the natural environment)?
Is moral, ethical behaviour bound by absolute, universal, undeniable rules, which everyone mustaccept and follow in life? What are such rules? How could they be so absolute? Alternatively issuch behaviour based more on
(a) Avoidance of consequences (fearof punishment) when making decisions or acting? Generallyduring childhood, certain behaviour is encouraged and other type of behaviour is discouraged. Inthis process ethics are being thought.
(b) Socially and culturally determined and dynamic values (subject to evolution and change).
Do people have more of a propensity for goodness/evil, selfishness and greed (and are business people particularly vulnerable?) or doaltruism, generosity and kindness prevail?
How do children best learn to behave morally?
What could be the content of a framework of ethical principles that business people in the modernworld might benefit from?
In an extension to childhood, do business people learn to behave morally? Do children learn to behave morally?
Who has the right to tell us what is good and evil are? Who has the right to tell business peoplewhat right and wrong conduct is in the context of their business transactions?