Ethical Behavior in Organizations Term Paper

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Ethical Behavior Theory in Organizations

This analytical research report discusses the debatable issue of the much-needed ethical behavior in working milieu. The research paper highlights the fundamental characteristics, a well-drafted research design, a separate section of suggestions; a Works Cited an appendix featuring important data and relevant diagrams pertaining to the organizational behavior theory and the underlying ethical issues. The Works Cited nine sources in MLA format.


Ethics and ethical behavior: a challenge for organizations


Reasons for unethical behavior in organizations

Prevalent justifications of unethical behavior

Results from Baucus and Near's research model

Part Three


Part Four


What is organizational behavior?

Purpose of organizational behavior

An overview of organizational behavior and its cardinal components

Basic models of organizational behaviors

Part Five


Part Six


Works Cited


Ethical Behavior in Organizations

Individuals working towards a common goal for personal as well as combined benefits form institutions popularly called as "organizations" or "associations." These firms or companies formulating and providing a challenging and a learning working environment, also consist of moral, social as well as professional values, rules and regulations that all the employees at all levels have to abide by. This is essential for an efficient organization to remain profitable on long-term basis. For the same matter, an individual working for an organization must have the ethical and social values similar to that of the organizations in order to generate the desired result. Because if their values are incompatible, neither the organization nor the individuals working for it can benefit, paving way for the ethical issues to emerge and providing leeway for affected productivity to dominate the working set-up (Drucker: 65).

The aforementioned considerations give birth to the concept of need for ethical values to be incorporated in the value system of an organization as well as to be inculcated in the personnel for the betterment of the society as a whole. Hence, the above discussion leads us to the following definitions essential to proceed our analysis based on the extensive research. However, due to the vast scope of the topic as well as for the reader's better and convenient comprehension, our research paper has been divided into six distinct parts where each section introduces a new concept and discusses a related topic in detail. All parts of the paper are further divided into sub-sections, highlighting important aspects related to the main topic. The paper begins with some of the significant definitions relevant to the gist of the topic.

Part I: Ethics and organizations

In order to study the cause and effect of an ethical value system of a workplace, let us first look into the lexical meanings of the terms ethics and organization and the relation between them. The dictionary defines organization as "a structure through which individuals cooperate systematically to conduct business" as well as "the administrative personnel of such a structure" (The American Heritage Dictionary: Fourth Edition). Thus, the above definition reveals two things:

Firstly, an organization is a workplace where both the parties that is the employees and the employers work hand in glove to reap benefits, generate profits and form integral parts of an entire system to do business. Secondly, organization is a structure managed and organized by the administrative authority and is based on certain rules and regulations. Thus the above chain of definition leads to the following definitions of the term "ethics." Lexical meanings of ethics are many but the ones that are relevant to our research paper are briefly discussed below:

Ethics are the "rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession" (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary) or ethics are defined as "a set of principles of right conduct" as well as "a theory or a system of moral values" (Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary). Hence, these carefully formulated rules and policies determine "the actions or reactions of a person in response to external or internal stimuli" thereby energizing behavior of the employees and motivating them to perform accordingly (American Heritage Dictionary).

Hence, all the reactions to an action as well as the rules and the policies drafted and the amendments made from time to time all form a fundamental part of the term ethics. In short, the people working for and the individuals owning a workplace form an organization where all are bound to obey the policies, rules and regulations constituting the social value system of an organization. Nonetheless, adhering to the ethical values and compelling people to do the same is not an easy job. However, the growing agitation among the employees and the continuing unrest in the corporate world reveals that organizations today world over are finding it a challenge to incorporate ethical values in their corporate culture. As communication, technology and improvement in other sectors is highly important, same is the case with the ethical values. Experts in the field come across thousands of cases related to the ethical issues with every sketching moment thereby revealing the ethical weakness of the corporate world as a single functioning body. Hence, begins the next section of our research paper.

Ethics and ethical behavior: a challenge for organizations

Keen observation and thorough analysis of the every day functioning of organizations reveal that the routine tasks have become increasingly demanding leaving either little or absolutely no time for ethical considerations. With the capitalism and materialism, taking toll, "morality appears to be so esoteric and qualitative in nature that it lacks substantive relation to objective and quantitative performance" (Ronald: 505). Though research proves with authentic evidence that for a working set-up to be efficient in terms of quality, quantity and performance, it is highly essential that it concentrate at "the moral content of organizational decision-making" (Ronald: 505). However, as a matter of fact, the cost that the integration of values involves is high but is worth the price.

But it seems that the only element that remains focused and receives the greatest attention from the globally spread organizations, is the expression "change" (Ronald: 505).

Hence, the changes that have already taken place in the corporate world as well as those that are next in line to be implemented are expected to bring about a drastic change in how we view the corporate environment. Following are some of the upcoming challenges that will result from the fast-growing changes: (Ronald: 505)

1) The challenge of international competition.

2) The challenge of new technologies.

3) The challenge of increased quality.

4) The challenge of employee motivation and commitment.

5) The challenge of managing a diverse workforce.

6) The challenge of ethical behavior.

Hence, with the new challenging situation of ethical behavior, the world witnesses the role played by some of the organizations in codifying certain rules and regulations governing the working environment for the purpose of the promotion of ethical values and a morally uptight corporate culture. Most of such organizations place their rules under the head "Code of Ethics" or "Standards of Conducts" and think they have done their part, which is a great mistake and the bane of the society (Ronald: 505). Nonetheless, there is a possibility to find organizations that "will be concerned with aspects of ethics of greater specificity, usefulness, and consistency" (Ronald: 505). Such corporate establishments actually make it to the victory stand for they make relentless efforts and are willing to pay the price to embed ethical values in the core of their corporate culture thereby reaping benefits, discouraging unethical attitude and minimizing the possibility of any related issues to emerge.

However, the number of ethically strong organizations is shamefully too less to be mentioned, the fact that has resulted in the weakening of the competing potency (Ronald: 505). This is the reason why a good few number of "executives, administrators, and social scientists see unethical behavior as a cancer working on the fabric of society in too many of today's organizations and beyond. Many are concerned that we face a crisis of ethics in the West that is undermining our competitive strength. This crisis involves business-people, government officials, customers, and employees. Especially worrisome is unethical behavior among employees at all levels of the organization" (Ronald: 505). Many studies conducted and the extensive research by some of the best experts in the related field inform us about the new challenge pertaining to the ethical behavior of the employees is being faced by not only the employers but also by the first-line supervisors.

For instance, a study conducted by a group of experts in 1989 revealed some of the horrendous facts regarding the unethical practices on the part of the employees. According to the thorough examination and research, the study showed that the ratio of employees to customers retail embezzlements was much higher, indicating the unethical corporate cultures and the negligence on the part of the employers (Ronald: 505). "The study estimated that one in every fifteen employees steals from his or her employer" (Ronald:…

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