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Ethical and Unethical Behavior in Business

Ethical Behavior is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics, that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. Business ethics refers to contemporary organizational standards, principles, sets of values and norms that govern the actions and behavior of an individual in the business organization. The range and quantity of business ethical issues reflects the interaction of profit-maximizing behavior with non-economic concerns.

Ethical Behavior

Ethical Behavior Within the Business

Ethical behaviour is behaviour that is appropriate. It is based on morals. Ethical behaviour is the right way to behave. It is choosing the right and good. Ethical behaviour is when someone is being on his or her best behaviour. All of their actions and words are following good moral principles. It refers to conduct that organizations expect their employees to hold while at work. Most organizations have formulated documents referred to as ‘codes of conduct’, that set out the accepted behaviours within the workplaces.

They have set out the rules and regulations that need to be adhered to by those in their employ. This is mainly because an individual’s conduct can affect the relationships within an organization, thereby taking a negative toll on the overall performance of an organization.

Unethical Behaviour Within Business

1. Misusing company time: It is covering for someone who shows up late or altering a time sheet, misusing company time tops the list. This category includes knowing that one of your co-workers is conducting personal business on company time. By “personal business” the survey recognizes the difference between making cold calls to advance your freelance business and calling your spouse to find out how your sick child is doing.

2. Abusive behavior: Too many workplaces are filled with managers and supervisors who use their position and power to mistreat or disrespect others. Unfortunately, unless the situation you’re in involves race, gender or ethnic origin, there is often no legal protection against abusive behavior in the workplace. To learn more, check out the Workplace Bullying Institute.
3. Employee theft: According to a recent study by Jack L. Hayes International, one out of every 40 employees in 2012 was caught stealing from their employer. Even more startling is that these employees steal on average 5.5 times more than shoplifters. Employee fraud is also on the uptick, whether its check tampering, not recording sales in order to skim, or manipulating expense reimbursements.
5. Violating company internet policies: Cyber Slackers. Cyber Loafers. These are terms used to identify people who surf the Web when they should be working. It’s a huge, multi-billion-dollar problem for companies. A survey conducted recently by found that everyday at least 64% of employees visit websites that have nothing to do with their work. Who would have thought that checking your Facebook page is becoming an ethical issue?