Section 3: Ethics in Business

Ethical culture can propel a company to the next level. Unethical behavior can destroy a company’s culture and reputation. Understanding how to foster an ethical environment is critical to establishing a successful company. Ethical concerns are not limited monetary issues like money laundering, fraud, or embezzlement but also include behavioral issues like discrimination or harassment. It is critical to know how to properly identify and address any ethical concern. Both employees and managers alike play an important role in developing an ethical culture with their company code of conduct at their guide.

Image of an unbalanced scale.Let’s revisit Luke and his real estate ethical dilemma. By representing both the buyer and the seller, he is not transparently performing the sale. In an industry where he is paid to be an advocate, it is impossible for him to advocate for both sides. Luke faces consequences through a severely damaged reputation, loss of clients, and possible civil lawsuits. So is the additional commission worth the risk of unethical behavior? An ethical individual would ague no.

In order to avoid lawsuits and a ruined reputation, companies must put ethics at the forefront of their business policies and practices. Utilizing the information in this module will help you avoid ethical violations when you enter into the workplace. Regardless of the role you play in a company, you are partially responsible for the condition of their ethical culture.

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  • Putting It Together: Ethics in Business. Authored by: Freedom Learning Group. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution
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