What Is Ethics?
Ethics is moral principles it is a system that defines right and wrong and provides a guiding philosophy for every decision you make. The Josephson Institute of Ethics describes ethical behaviour well: “Ethics is about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay. There are two aspects to ethics: The first involves the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil, and propriety from impropriety. The second involves the commitment to do what is right, good, and proper. Ethics entails action; it is not just a topic to mull or debate.”John C. Maxwell
Unethical behaviour is not only what you believe to be right and fair, it is a reflection of your personal brand and what people can expect from you personally and professionally.
Your strong sense of personal ethics can help guide you in your decisions.
You might be surprised to find yourself with an ethical dilemma about something that is second nature to you.
For example, imagine that you’re taking a class (required for your major) that has an assignment of a twenty-page paper and you’ve been so busy with your classes, internship, and volunteer work that you really haven’t had the time to get started.
You know you shouldn’t have waited so long and you’re really worried because the paper is due in only two days and you’ve never written a paper this long before. Now you have to decide what to do.
You could knuckle down, go to the library, and visit the campus Writing Centre, but you really don’t have the time to do all that and still write the entire twenty pages.
You’ve heard about some people who have successfully bought papers from this one Web site. You’ve never done it before, but you are really desperate and out of time. “If I only do it this one time,” you think, “I’ll never do it again.” But compromising your ethics even just once is a slippery slope. The idea is that one thing leads naturally to allowing another until you find yourself sliding rapidly downhill.
Ethics is all about the art of navigating the slippery slope: you have to draw a line for yourself, decide what you will and won’t do and then stick to it. If you don’t have a strong set of ethics, you have nothing to use as a guidepost when you are in a situation that challenges you morally. A highly developed set of personal ethics should guide your actions. The only way to develop a strong sense of ethics is to do what you believe in, to take actions consistent with your principles time and time again.
So if you buy the paper and get caught, you will not only fail the class, but you may also find yourself expelled from school. If you’re tempted to consider buying a paper, take a minute to read your school’s academic dishonesty policy, as it is most likely very clear about what is right and wrong in situations like this.
Source: Steven R. Hoover
You have no doubt heard the expression
“Do the right thing.” It is the essence of ethics: choosing to do the right thing when you have a choice of actions. Being ethical means you will do the right thing regardless of whether there are possible consequences you treat other people well and behave morally for its own sake, not because you are afraid of the possible consequences.
Simply put, people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Thomas Jefferson summed up ethics in a letter he wrote to Peter Carr in 1785: “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.”Gerhard Gschwandtner, “Lies and Deception in Selling:
Business Ethics: What Makes a Company Ethical?
Ethics apply to businesses as well personal behaviour. Business ethics is the application of ethical behaviour by a business or in a business environment. An ethical business not only abides by laws and appropriate regulations, it operates honestly, competes fairly, provides a reasonable environment for its employees, and creates partnerships with customers, vendors, and investors. In other words, it keeps the best interest of all stakeholders at the forefront of all decisions.
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