Ethics and morals are elements of every field and industry across the board. Life has evolved, and technology has advanced and there has never before been such a focus placed on the importance of morals, ethics, and values in the workplace and in society. Much development in many areas has been made, professionally and personally, at the cost of compromising ethics and morals, but this is merely development and not growth. Let’s dive into what ethics is all about.
Ethics is a term that encompasses the values that are related to human conduct in terms of right and wrong actions and behavior. Each and every one us faces or have faced a conflict of ethics at some or other point.
Ethics in Business
In the business world, everything revolves around gains, and by gains, we are talking about monetary gains. Oftentimes, profits are acquired through unethical actions, or unethical decisions are made for the sake of moving up the corporate ladder, for example. Ethics can take the back seat in the business environment, where things are competitive and often corrupt. In business, a professional may come to a place where his personal principles contradict his professional needs, which is where the question of ethics comes into play. Business ethics is also about expecting employees not to divulge sensitive company information and expecting loyalty form employees.
Ethics in Society
While in a business, there are professional organizations that take on the task of developing a set of ethics according to which business should be carried out in order to help make the world of enterprises more ethical. In society, there is no professional board. In society, ethics is a set of implied regulations and unwritten rules that help people of a community to tell what is wrong and what is right. Ethics has been defined in many manners but neither conclusive nor complete. It is a set of values in place to ensure the smooth running of society.
Personal ethics is a whole other breed of ethics, separate from professional ethics or the ethics of a community. Personal ethics varies as per every individual. Of course, there is often an overlap. Every person has a unique set of principles and values for themselves. Personal ethics also infiltrates every area of a person’s life, including finances, friends, family, and relationships. A person can be taught several principles in childhood, but when they grow into adults, they choose their own set of ethics.
The law profession has a system of ethics in that a code of conduct exists that regulates the behavior of all those within a court of law. Legal ethics encompasses a body of rules and practices by which members of the Bar, the lawyer, client, and the entire Court adhere to. This is separate from business ethics because, in the legal profession, the public good is of utmost importance, making it very different from the runnings of business or even the goals of a business. In law, ethics are in place to uphold the honor and dignity of the profession itself but also of all those involved in the legal proceedings.
All Ethics Are One
In summary, ethics of any nature is definitely of importance. Achieving either form of ethics above another is defeating the point and purpose of having ethics in the first place, and so people should not have chosen, for example, their professional ethics over their personal ethics. All the various types of ethics should, in fact, overlap without conflict. Upholding one’s principles is the best way to fulfill your duties while still respecting the rights of others. There are principles that have been a part of humankind since time immemorial. Development should not come at the cost of sacrificing ethics or principles, and sticking to the age-old principles, in essence, will ensure that whether you are facing professional, legal, personal or community ethics, you are making the right choice.
There is no escaping ethics, even if you are not an employee. You can encounter situations where you will be faced with a question of your ethics in a variety of ways — for example, in a coffee shop, overhearing professionals discussing confidential details that shouldn’t be public or maybe even when a friend asks you a question and you feel the truth would hurt their feelings (like if the cookies they baked you were horrible). Ethics has a way of weaving itself into every nook and cranny of life, and there’s no escaping it. Ultimately, if you find yourself questioning whether something is ethical, the chances are pretty good that is really isn’t! Follow your gut, when in doubt, and don’t compromise your beliefs no matter what situation you may find yourself in.