Ethical Issues in Modern Business Management
Ethics is a word that essentially means “morally right or wrong,” and it encompasses a wide range of issues related to business practices. It can involve business decisions and employees’ activities, and it can also include the way a company treats its employees, customers and other stakeholders.
Ethical problems can come in many forms, from unethical accounting to harassment of employees. It’s important to keep an eye out for ethical dilemmas in your workplace, and to learn how to detect and deter them.
The first major ethical issue that businesses face is discrimination, which can come in the form of discrimination based on race, gender, age or disability. This type of discrimination is a violation of many laws, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Discrimination can be a stumbling block for companies of all sizes, and it’s not uncommon for it to affect small-business owners, too. It’s crucial for employers to hire a diverse workforce and to ensure their policies support that.
Nepotism is a common ethical dilemma that can arise from hiring family members or friends, and it’s essential to understand when nepotism crosses the line from “friendliness” to unethical favoritism. You can determine whether nepotism is a problem by determining whether the person you’re considering has the qualifications needed for the job and if they’ve demonstrated ethical standards in the past.
Another common ethical dilemma that can occur at the hands of employees is stealing company data and information for personal gain. Creating clear guidelines for how data is managed and enforcing consequences for corporate espionage can help prevent this from occurring.
Health and safety is another ethical issue that can come up in the workplace. Some companies are tempted to cut corners or skip steps in order to save money, but it can have serious long-term impacts on workers’ mental and physical health.
In addition, the failure to take workers’ safety into account can cause psychological issues that can have a negative impact on performance.
Harassment is a second major ethical issue that most businesses experience, and it can come in the form of verbal abuse, sexual abuse or racial slurs. It’s often a sign of a toxic work environment and can be especially damaging to women.
If you are aware of any possible ethical issues in your workplace, communicate them with your supervisor and explain why you believe they’re an issue. You may be able to work out an agreement with the manager or owner that will help resolve these problems.
If you’re still not sure what you can do to protect yourself against ethical problems, it may be time to consider taking a business ethics class or enrolling in a leadership program. In addition to teaching you the importance of avoiding unethical behavior, a business ethics course will teach you about laws and regulations that affect your industry. You’ll also learn how to implement a strong code of conduct and encourage your employees to do the same.