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What is Ethics?

Basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human


Includes study of universal values such as the essential

quality of all men and women, human or natural rights,
obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety,
and increasingly, also for the natural environment

Branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending

and recommending concept of right and wrong conduct

Ethics (as a branch of Philosophy), investigates the questions:

What is the best way for people to live? and What actions
are right or wrong in particular circumstances?
In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality
by defining concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong,
virtue and vice, justice and crime.

Why is Ethics Important?

In an organization, a code of ethics is a set of principles that
guide the organization in its programs, policies and decisions for
its business. Ethics are the principles and values an individual
uses to govern his activities and decisions. The ethical philosophy
an organization uses to conduct its business can affect the
reputation, productivity and bottom line of the business.
(According to Luanne Kelcher, Demand Media). Ethics is important
in leadership, employee, and organizational culture.
Leadership Ethics
The ethics that leaders in an organization use to manage
employees may have an effect on the morale and loyalty of

Employee Ethics
Ethical behavior among workers in an organization ensures
that employees complete work with honesty and integrity.
Ethical Organizational Culture
Leaders and employees adhering to a code of ethics crate an
organizational culture. The leaders may create an ethical
culture by exhibiting the type of behavior theyd like to see
in employees


(Regardless of occupations)

Make society better

Treat everyone equally
Secure meaningful employment
Succeed at business
Lessen stress


An action that falls outside of what is considered

morally right or proper for a person, a profession or an
industry. (Individuals can behave unethically, as can
business, professionals and politicians


1. Inappropriate Computer Use

2. Time Misuse
3. Sexual Harassment and Bullying
4. Illegal Acts

Causes of Unethical Behavior of Employees in the Workplace

A person often chooses to act immorally or unethically for
personal financial gain.
Sometimes, a person acts unethically in business because
his employer condones the behavior.
Ethical conflicts or violations are not always transparent, and
it's easy for an employee to perform an unethical act without
knowing it. For this reason, it is important for companies to make
employees aware both of the company's general ethics policy,
and specific examples of ethical and unethical behavior.

Dealing with Unethical Behavior in the Workplace

Whether your employer is a Silicon Valley giant or an early stage start-up, you
may encounter colleagues whose behavior may cross the unethical threshold. And while
ignoring the bad conduct may seem like the best coping strategy, in the long run,
ignoring the negative behavior may hurt your projects and career. Here are a few tips
to help you deal with unethical co-workers:
Do your research
It is important to determine if your colleague is breaking your employers policy.
Check the employee manual to see if the unethical behavior is mentioned. While not all
bad behavior is covered in a handbook, you may be able to find a more generic clause to
help illustrate your colleagues ill conduct.
Document the unethical behavior
Its important to document what your colleague did and when. If your team or
department is ever audited, your documentation will come in handy. It will also help
create a paper trail that may keep you from getting in trouble with your employer.
Approach your colleague
It is important to approach your co-worker in a calm manner. No one likes to be
scolded or feel like they are being threatened. Try the nonchalant tactic and simply say
that you want to remind them their behavior is breaking the organization or company
Speak to management
If your colleague blows you off and continues with the unethical behavior, you
may have to speak to a supervisor. Unethical behavior eventually gets noticed by upper
management and you dont want to be reprimanded for not speaking up.
Remember, speaking up will not just help create a better work
environment, but it will also help colleagues recognize your integrity.

According to Luanne Kelcher, Demand Media)
By Belo Cipriani on August 27, 2014 at 4:00 AM