Ethics are practiced in almost every profession as well as in the business arena. The essence of having ethical standards is to ensure that professionals in a particular field maintain the needed integrity. However, the duty of upholding ethical values is often left to employees alone, yet it is a duty that requires synergy from all departments. While employees have an important role in every organization, the top management bears the greatest responsibility. To become ideal ethical organizations, this paper asserts that institutions need to understand the role of ethical values, employee training, and leadership qualities.
An ideal ethical organization is one that elevates ethical values more than anything. It is highly unlikely that an organization will be ethical if it does prioritize ethical values in all of its operations. According to Fuller and Tilley (2005), most organizations incorporate ethical policies in their operations and compel employees to sign a policy document; adherence to the same is also demanded. By asking workers to sign the policy document, organizations prove their commitment to ethical standards. In the absence of such a document, an organization might be creating the impression that it is not committed to ethics. Hence, an ideal ethical organization needs to include ethical policy as a change agent and strive to implement the values indicated in the document.
Additionally, leaders of an ideal ethical organization become role model in observation of ethical standards. In every organization, leaders play a crucial role of motivating employees to embrace and implement change. As a result, when a leader fails to lead in the adherence to ethical requirements, the workers inevitably emulate them. A leader, therefore, needs to maintain integrity and transparency in all the operations in an organization besides instilling confidence and motivation to the workers (A. Gilley, McMillan, & H. Gilley, 2009). Once a leader is committed to ethics of an organization, the employees will emulate them and subsequently transform even the most corrupt organizations. Therefore, if an organization is rife with corruption, it can install a leader who exhibits the mentioned qualities.
Also, employees who are evidently trained on the need for ethics would characterize an ideal ethical organization. Besides playing the role-model part, leaders and organization management have to train workers on the essence of upholding ethical values. While the presence of ethical values and role-model leaders are important, educating the workers about the ethics is equally imperative. Graham (2009) asserted that employee training in this area is significant since workers are more prone ethical issues than others due to their daily interaction with clients. In essence, educating workers on ethics is an important step toward dealing with corruption in an organization.
In summary, an organization can only achieve ideal ethical standards if it outlines its ethical values, educate the employees on the same, and hire leaders who are willing to uphold such qualities. Ethical values can be availed to the workers during the hiring process. Employees’ acceptance of the ethical values may not be effective if organizations fail to educate them on the need to actually uphold the values stipulated in the policy document. Once such actions are taken, managers and other leaders need to exhibit their commitment to and enthusiasm of the ethics. As noted, employees perceive leaders to be role models whose actions affect their motivation and morale to adhere to the values. No matter how corrupt may have been, the aforementioned steps can be implemented to ensure an organization becomes ideal and corruption-free.
- Fuller, T. & Tilley, F. (2005). Corporate ethical futures: responsibility for the shadow on the future of today’s ethical corporations. Futures, 37(2-3), 183-187.
- Gilley, A., McMillan, H., & Gilley, J. (2009). Organizational Change and Characteristics of Leadership Effectiveness. Journal Of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 16(1), 38
- Graham, M. (2009). Business ethics. London: Springer.