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Business Ethics: Ethical Standards in the Workplace - Essay Example

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Ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, businesspeople, teachers, and professionals." (Anon., 2006). Ethics is not similar to the law…
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Business Ethics: Ethical Standards in the Workplace
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Download file to see previous pages ied." In refering to business ethics, we are concerned about what should or should not, ought or ought not to be done.
Businesses are expected to do more than perform their functions and make profits these days. They are also expected to be socially responsible and assist in the handling of areas of public interest and welfare. A company that closes plants in areas that are economically depressed and reopens in an area where labor is cheaper can claim to be "socially responsible" because it is providing more
jobs in the new area instead of staying in an area that is depressed. This is the Utilitarian Approach "deals with consequences; it tries both to increase the good done and to reduce the harm done." (Anon., 2006).
An "ethical dilemma" is when a company is faced with making decisions which requires it to address these questions, as listed in the article titled, A Framework for Thinking Ethically (Anon., 2006): "Is there something wrong personally, interpersonally, or socially Could the conflict, the situation, or the decision be damaging to people or to the community Does the issue go beyond legal or institutional concerns What does it do to people, who have dignity, rights, and hopes for a better life together"
An example of an ethical dilemma is given by Butcher (2006), "The auto industry is bracing for a Ford Motor Co. downsizing that may rival the size and scope of the one at General Motors Corp., where tens of thousands of jobs are being eliminated and several assembly plants are set to close. This as Ford embarks on a new restructuring plan. The automaker announced some details of the plan, dubbed the "Way Forward," this Monday morning. Ford said that it will cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 facilities by 2012 as part of a restructuring designed to reverse a $1.6 billion loss last year in its North American operations. The cuts represent 20 percent to 25 percent of Ford's North American workforce of 122,000 people. Ford has approximately 87,000 hourly workers and 35,000 salaried workers in the region."

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This situation is an ethical dilemma because it causes concern for the community and its people, it affects the dignity, rights, and hopes of the people, and it goes beyond legal and institutional concerns. The company's decisions will affect the stake of many people and the company has obligations to these people (staff) and their families. The company has to face a decision and choose and option that will produce the most good and the least amount of harm to all. This constitutes a company that is facing an ethical dilemma.
In order to boost morale and yield higher production with better quality, a plant manager must have a plan. One can call this succession planning. This involves keeping track of staff that are doing a good job, addressing employees' and teams' weaknesses and strengths, and adopting career profiling tools to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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