Communication Ethics - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date Communication Ethics Passing of information from a sender to a recipient is referred to as communication According to Adler and Jeanne (2). They further state that the communication process is only complete after the addressee has grasped the message being put across…
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Communication Ethics
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Module Communication Ethics Passing of information from a sender to a recipient is referred to as communication According to Adler and Jeanne (2). They further state that the communication process is only complete after the addressee has grasped the message being put across. During day-to-day interactions, people need to communicate with those around or far away since no one can live without input from other people. Therefore, it is crucial that communication, when it happens, be done efficiently. One of the main defining characteristics of communication is its alignment in certain agreed standards, which include ethical standards. One place where communication is quite essential is at the workplace since the success of a firm is dependent on the ability of workers to communicate effectively among themselves and between them and the management. Messages sent to the workers by the management should be concise and free from any ambiguity as ambiguous messages have different interpretations and the one taken by the recipient may not be the intended one. Business decisions are based on information obtained from one department to the other and the gravity of any errors cannot be overemphasized. In addition, company corporate communication should abide by all ethical requirements; the process of communication or the message content should victimize no one in any way. Importance of Communication Ethics: According to Adler and Jeanne (5), communication is a vital component of every institution that aims at making profits. It is, therefore, crucial that there be clearly predefined communication channels in a firm that employees, customers, the management and other stakeholders can use to relay information without running the risk of ineffective communication. Everyone in the institution should ensure that all business transactions, including communication are done in such a way as to minimize harm. This implies that the impact of the communicating process inside or outside the firm should have more benefits than harm. All the departments should communicate in such a way that people perform their roles without affecting those of others. This requires a certain degree of goodwill from all in the organization, be they employees, employers or other stakeholders. Finally, everyone in a business setup should exercise the maxim of reciprocity by doing to colleagues, bosses and juniors what they would not mind others do to them. For instance, a senior member of staff should not humiliate an intern in the presence of colleagues since the former would not enjoy if the same happened to them. Obstacles to Ethical Communication: The major obstacle to ethical practice in businesses, according to the Josephson Institute of Ethics (2002), is rationalizations, which are commonly made excuses for non-ethical behavior in a business environment. These rationalizations use universally acceptable ideas to explain not-so-ethical behaviors. First in the list is the assumption that if all people do something, then it is right. However, most common practices are as unethical as they can be. It is, therefore, crucial that one refrains from making popular but infamous decisions in the communication process. Another equally wrong rationalization is the one that misinterprets the rule of utilitarianism; a decision should not be deemed right only basing on the fact that it caused no harm. The ethical value of a decision should be based on its positive effect to those it concerns; focusing on the gains rather than losses not incurred. The other notable culprit in rationalization is necessity. Many people have the perception that if something should be done for the benefit of the business, then it is ethical. This is usually not the case especially if the implementation of the specific decision infringes into the private and ethical rights of those involved. Employee Ethics: Employee ethics can make or break any institution, and that is why every business should invest in training of employees on the dos and don’ts of business to avoid mishaps. Communication in the corporate world should be efficient, such that information can be accurately traced from its sender through to the recipient(s) to ensure accountability and curb any unethical practices like disclosure of confidential information to wrong parties. Any diversion from the accepted code of conduct at the workplace should be recognized and corrected on a timely basis. Depending on the extent of the damage done, employees should be held accountable for any unethical practices on their part. Corrections should be made, in addition to recrimination, as the management may see fit (Flynn 35). CONCLUSION Communication and decision-making in a business environment are intertwined as one begets the other. It is, therefore, significant to communicate and make decisions in accordance to professional and other workplace ethics. Business progress should not be at the expense of its workers and vice versa. There should be a balance where all parties involved experience positive growth. This has a positive feedback mechanism as growth in business leads to growth of workers, who in turn are motivated to become more productive than before. Rationalization is a powerful enemy of ethical communication and decision-making and those involved should keep it at bay. Works Cited Adler, Ronald B., and Jeanne Marquardt Elmhorst. Communicating at Work. 9th edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008. Print. Josephson Institute of Ethics. “Making Ethical Decisions—Part Five: Obstacles to Ethical Decision Making.” 2002. Accounting Web. 20 Aug 2010. Flynn, Gillian. “Make Employee Ethics Your Business.” Personnel Journal (1995), 74.6: 30-37. Print. Read More
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