When it comes to creating a successful business environment, ethics plays a huge role. Not only are ethical considerations integral to a company’s culture, they can also have a positive impact on the public image of a company, as well as the bottom line. Janet Hunt, a contributor at BizFluent.com, writes, “A company has a special obligation to its customers to ensure that its decisions are legal and ethical. Management must set the example of a company’s core values.”
Understanding business ethics is a key part of managerial decision-making in the world of business. The curriculum offered in an online BSBA program is a great way to familiarize yourself with common ethical practices and standards.
Ethics in Management
Managers are tasked with making tough decisions within a company, and ethics often play a role in the decision-making process. Melissa Horton, for Investopedia.com, writes, “The management team sets the tone for how the entire company runs on a day-to-day basis.” Ethically-minded managers set a good example for employees and help foster a hospitable working environment.
Ethics are open to interpretation, which can complicate decision-making. In an article titled “Decision Making in Business Ethics” in the Houston Chronicle, Osmond Vitez writes, “Decision making in business ethics usually requires companies to identify specific ethical standards, which often means different things to different people.” He goes on to say, “Companies often use the organization’s mission statement to build a framework for helping individuals make ethical business decisions.”
The Purpose of Ethics in Business
Maintaining an ethical framework is beneficial to every component of a business. Vitez writes, “Business ethics is a tool companies use to ensure managers, directors, or executive officers act responsibly in various business situations.” Ethical business practices ensure that managerial choices take the whole company into consideration, rather than just one or two people.
Businesses rely on their reputation to gain the trust of customers and investors. Their reputation is directly linked to their ability to do business ethically. Horton writes, “The reputation of a business from the surrounding community, other businesses and individual investors is paramount in determining whether a company is a worthwhile investment.”
Ethics for Employees
Good employees will model their behavior after an ethical management team. Horton notes, “Employees make better decisions in less time with business ethics as a guiding principle; this increases productivity and overall employee morale.” Essentially, if a business is being run ethically, employees will be happier, more productive and more loyal to the company.
For employees to behave ethically, management must set up an ethical framework. Hunt writes, “An organization needs a professional code of ethics. Without it, employees have no set policy for interpreting values that aren’t always clear.” Having a clear code of ethics is key to operating ethically in business.
Business ethics can be an intimidating subject at first, as it permeates every level of business. The curriculum in an online BSBA program is a great starting point to understanding business ethics and how they affect decision-making for management, how they impact a company’s image, and how they facilitate a company’s internal culture.