Ethics and Code of Conduct
Philosophers, especially ethical philosophers, provide the guidelines that people should implement or follow to ensure they uphold ethics in their conduct. Jeremy Bentham was a British philosopher who lived between 1748-1832. Bentham is believed to be the founder of modern utilitarianism. Utilitarianism suffices to be an ethical theory which argues that the best action to implement is the one that contributes to the greatest well-being or maximizes utility regardless of whether it is wrong or right. A person should understand the consequences of their action either in business or life before applying them. Critical conditions require critical decision-making to ensure that the action implemented positively influence the outcomes. Bentham argued that the primary focus of an individual while making any decisions should be the outcomes rather than the process. Therefore, Jeremy Bentham had a significant contribution to philosophy and currently influences most of the actions of leaders and business people.
Aristotle is a Greek philosopher who was most popular for his contribution to philosophy to the extent that he was branded as the “Father of Western philosophy.” Aristotle is an ancient philosopher who lived between 384 and322 B.C. Besides ethical philosophies, Aristotle provided methods of inquiry and harmonious synthesis of prior philosophies including the ones developed by Plato and Socrates. Aristotle perceived ethics as a practical study by stating that knowing good was not enough because a person had to become a good person and do good to prove his or her ethical conduct. That is, virtue has to have the proper function rather than just having a theoretical understanding of good and evil. Therefore, Aristotle’s intellectual capacity was vast, and his significant contribution to philosophy was providing an understanding of ethical philosophies and virtues.
Plato is also an ancient philosopher born in Athens, Greece who had a crucial contribution to understanding ethics based on gods and religion. Plato was born around 428/427 B.C and lived until 348/347 B.C. Plato argued that moral authority should not involve gods for it to be good. Plato argues that happiness does not have to be through virtue but rather a continuous process. Thus, things have to go well in life for one to be happy without the reliance on gods and virtues. Plato’s contribution was primarily providing an understanding of ethical philosophies. Plato provided an understanding that happiness suffices to be invisible and has to be independent of religious influence. Therefore, Plato’s contribution to moral philosophy was providing an understanding of complex ethical perspectives.
Confucius is a Chinese philosopher who lived between 551–479 B.C. Confucius teachings contributed to ethical philosophy by providing an understanding of the personal and governmental morality, justice and sincerity, and precision of social relationships. Confucianism emphasizes on the importance of self-cultivation, skilled judgment, and significance of emulating moral exemplars rather than following rules and regulations. Confucius argues that it is crucial to do the right thing at the right time while balancing ethics and norms. Confucianism is considered to be a form of virtue ethics which promotes the value for human beings over property. Confucius emphasizes on the significance of sincerity and acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, Confucius profoundly contributes to ethical philosophy by providing an understanding of virtues, importance of knowledge, and honesty to achieve outcomes that positively contribute to life rather than following rules.
The portrayal of unethical behavior by leaders may be influenced by various factors which can either be intrapersonal, interpersonal, or situational. Success stressor falls under the category of intrapersonal factors where an individual feels the pressure to achieve success to impress the employers which consequently contributes to such a leader exposing employees to unconducive working conditions. Stressors also prevent communication since the relationship between a leader and an employee is broken when emphasis is put on success. Additionally, moral character weakness of a leader could lead to unethical conduct because he or she may lack the perseverance to supervise employees of different personalities and performance scales. Moral weakness leads to immoral behavior as most of the times a leader relies on rules to make judgments rather than focusing on utility. Therefore, moral character weakness and success stressors remain the most influential intrapersonal and interactive factors that have a higher possibility of causing unethical behavior.
Leaders are people who hold power and leverage over their subordinates. As such, it is possible for such leaders to abuse their power which suffices to be unethical behavior. For instance, an employer could make subordinates to work in poor or unconducive conditions for them to acquire their full pay. A leader could favor aides who work extra hours for free and threaten the ones who demand compensation which suffices to be an abuse of power and unethical behavior. Subsequently, the lack of accountability in leaders is a form of unethical behavior. Lack of accountability can also be categorized as an abuse of power since leaders may feel the entitlement that they do not have any obligation to subordinates. Thus, lack of accountability and abuse of power can be categorized as interpersonal factors that lead to leaders’ unethical behavior.
Lack of organizational oversight of the actions of leaders profoundly contributes to unethical behavior by leaders since leaders feel that they do not have to answer to anyone. When all authority is left to leaders, subordinates live under the mercy of the particular leaders because they can impose any decision without proper precautions. For instance, a dispute may arise between a leader and an employee in an organization which means that the employee arguments may be disregarded due to the lack of no oversight committee. Contrary, supervising many people suffices to be an interactive situational factor that can lead to leaders’ exhaustion making them irrational which leads to their unethical behavior. As such, the type of work of the leaders and the lack of organizational oversight highly lead to leaders’ unethical behavior.
The term code of conduct is an agreement of the preferable rules and regulations that an organization or a group sets for the members to follow. Code conduct suffices to be the behavior popularly accepted the most appropriate or inappropriate by the parties involved. An oversight body of an organization follows the rules of the code of conduct to determine whether a party is either at fault or innocent. The development of a code of conduct can be done by all the parties involved, or the governing body can develop them and inform the subordinates through a memo or letters. Once a code of conduct is designed and implemented, every party in the group or organization has to follow and try as much as possible to ensure that their actions are within the guidelines.
The development of a code of conduct is procedural and begins by understanding the purpose that the code of conduct will serve. Code of conduct mostly serves as the framework within which ethical decision-making process takes place in an organization. The code of conduct can also determine the behavior of the employees, how leaders interact with subordinates, and how the overall organization interacts with customers. Thus, the primary purpose of the development of the code of conduct is to ensure that there is the promulgation of ethics and principles to attract stakeholders, employees, and customers. The development of a code of conduct may involve all or some of the following facts which include an engaging title, introductory letter from the management, company’s mission statement, description of the code’s scope, a catalogue of resources needed for seeking assistance, and references to disciplinary actions when the code of conduct is violated.
The engaging title of a code of conduct should be formal to ensure that the involved parties understand the seriousness of the matter. A letter of introduction from the management should be formulated to ensure that involved parties fathom the formality of the rules and regulations. The mission statement is included to ensure that the behavior perceived to be appropriate or inappropriate helps the organization or group to achieve its goals and objectives. Importantly, the code of conduct document should state the people whom, how, and when the agreement is applicable. Once the code of conduct is violated, the resources available to the involved parties are clearly outlined for purposes of reporting or disciplinary actions for reference when a code of conduct is violated.
Do you need high quality Custom Essay Writing Services?