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Ethics: Walking the Talk

Summary: Ethics is a complicated concept. Two main theories of ethics are consequentialism, in which ethical behavior is that which results in the greatest good for the greatest number, and universalism, in which ethical behavior is that which is right regardless of the consequences. One less formal approach is to consider whether one would perform an act if one's family knew of it and if it were publicized. The first decade of the 21st century has shown the impact of unethical behavior on the business world, leading to an increase in ethics training for low- and mid-level employees. Efforts such as ISO 26000 have attempted to bring ethics to corporate leadership as well. There are a number of points that should be considered when contemplating ethics: ethical behavior is not the same as legal behavior, culture affects ethical perspective, personal differences always have the potential to cause issues, business ethics are constantly changed by competitive behavior, and the ethical behavior of groups must be fostered by group leaders.

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  • Topics: Leadership
  • Keywords: Competitiveness, Conflict, Employee education & training, Ethics, Leadership, Organizational culture, Social responsibility
  • Author: Marques, Joan
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation