Every individual, organization or government has its own set of moral principles or code of ethics. These values are shaped by life experience, surrounding people, culture, religion, and other factors influencing the outlook of a human being. In turn, they effect personal decisions that one makes when considers some ethical issues. This essay describes my own code of ethics and the main principles, which are laid in the decision-making process concerning the moral problems.
My Сore Values
My core values have been formed while living with my parents, studying at school, current enrollment at college, and other groups and societies I met. They are influenced by people I have known, books and stories I learned, and major events that happened in my life.
The main principle I personally value in life is that one needs to trust people around and behave himself honestly, as well. I believe that honest people have much less troubles in their lives and can achieve goals easier. Being reliable, such people enjoy trustfulness and support of others. This can be applied to organizations and governments, as well. The business environment requires firms to behave honestly if they want to get better contracts with investors, suppliers, and customers. Presenting less risk to the counterparts, such companies operate under more preferable conditions, prices, loan interest rates, time frames, etc. Honest governments obtain loyalty of the voting citizens and a strong reputation in the international community.
Honest performance is not always enough to be consistent with the commonly accepted moral principles. I suppose that being responsible is not less important for a human. Frankly speaking, if you did not do something just because you had been too lazy, it is obviously not an acceptable way of dealing with other people or doing some business. In order to obtain a reputation as a reliable person, one needs to accomplish what he or she promises to do, first of all when other parties’ interests are also involved.
Responsibility and Honesty
Responsibility and honesty are especially important features for managers who need to build relationships with employees, shareholders, suppliers, and customers. Building a career in business or organizing own company, one has to draw attention to reputation. In modern world with the extensively developed means of communication, ethical performance often plays one of the key roles for success.
Unfortunately, not all people and organizations around us always act in accordance with the common ethical values. This sometimes forces an individual or business entity to decide on an ethical dilemma. Such decisions are often based on the personal code of ethics.
With involvement in an ethical dilemma, I start the decision-making process from collecting all available information, which is relevant to the problem. This stage is highly important for a decision maker as one missed fact may change the final conclusion critically. On the other hand, one needs to consider time and effort necessary to obtain all the information. Late decisions, especially on ethical matters, might create no change to the situation and lead to a negative reputation, as well.
The Second Stage of Ethical Decision
The second stage of ethical decision making is devoted to the deep analysis of the problem and relevant information based on personal core values. One needs to determine which aspects of the situation do not coincide with his or her own moral principles. When considering a business entity, the management of an organization evaluates an ethical problem with respect to the corporate code of ethics and general norms accepted in the business environment.
Finally, one makes a choice on one or another way of dealing with a moral problem. Thinking about an ethical dilemma, I try to find out which pattern of further actions an honest human would chose. Besides, the possibility of keeping within the selected way of response is to be also analyzed in terms of time, money, personal commitment, and other sources. Chosen approach to ethical dilemma should not be affected by the impossibility to perform declared actions. Otherwise, an individual or business entity is going to be considered as irresponsible one and mistrusted by other involved parties.
A good example of an ethical problem is provided by the recent BP Oil Spill. Just before the incident, the company declared that it took significant safety measures and claimed to be one of the strongest oil extractors in terms of safety standards. At the same time, the new Senior Vice President, Kevin Lacey, left BP because of disagreements with other top managers on the company’s safety practices. Thus, he decided to quit the ethical dilemma being unable to change the moral principles of other managers. In this way, Kevin Lacey protected his reputation as an honest, trustworthy, and responsible person.
The development of personal code of ethics is extremely important for most of the decisions people make in lives. Adherence to ethical norms is especially vital for leaders, both political and organizational ones. Companies’ managers often face ethical dilemmas in choosing their strategies. In accordance with the corporate code of ethics and common moral rules, management of a firm receives the commitment of employees, customer loyalty, and investors’ trust.
In my opinion, honesty and responsibility are the key values, which describe ethical behavior. One needs to consider them when an ethical dilemma occurs. The process of deciding on a moral problem includes information gathering, situation analysis and making the choice of further actions. Although the final outcome of this process depends on the individual ethical values, it should be consistent with commonly accepted moral rules in order to support strong reputation of the decision maker.