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Factors Influencing Individuals’ Ethical Behaviour Essay (Article)

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Updated: Feb 27th, 2020

Several researches have been conducted to identify factors that influence individuals’ ethical behaviours. According to the researches, personal, situational, organisational, and external factors influence an individual’s ethical behaviour (Phillips, 2003).

For effective management and leadership in an organisation, managers must comprehend these factors. Extensive comprehension of these factors will aid managers to monitor and control their companies with ease. Equally, leaders should understand how to address issues related to ethical behaviours within their organizations.

Notably, an individual’s personality and background play a huge role in determining whether an individual behaves ethically or unethically. Similarly, an individual’s personality determines his or her acts and traits. Psychologists suggest that our personalities influence how we perform our daily activities.

On the other hand, individuals’ backgrounds can have an influence on their attitudes. Equally, attitude determines whether an individual behaves ethically or unethically. In addition, psychologists assert that both attitudes and backgrounds determine individuals’ behavioural patterns.

Another major factor that determines an individual’s ethical behaviour is organisational factors. Researchers assert that organisational factors such as employees’ behaviour, attitudes, and morals play a huge role in influencing employee’s ethical behaviour. Equally, an organisational decision history can influence ethical decisions among the employees. It is believed that our past decisions influence our current decisions making processes.

According to researchers, socialization, just like the personality and background influences an individual’s ethical behaviour. The people we socialize with affect our attitudes and behaviours largely. Similarly, our age, social class, religion, and nationality determine our ethical behaviours. Another factor that determines the way a person behaves is ethical philosophy.

Ethical philosophy affects an individual in a number of ways. In an organisation, individual rights are largely governed by ethical philosophy. In general, individual’s behaviour in an organisation is determined by both individual and situational factors.

In an organisation, encouraging ethical behaviour among the employees requires a manager with appropriate leadership skills (Brown, 2005). To enhance ethical behaviours, an organisation might be forced to adjust its organisational structures, training processes, and remuneration systems. It is with these reasons that the enhancement of ethics in an organisation is considered as a complex endeavour. In this regard, ethical management initiatives in an organisation depend on the Manager’s leadership skills and commitment.

Primarily, managers should portray ethical behaviours in their daily activities to foster ethical behaviours within their organisations. According to Ranken, an organisation’s ethical behaviour is determined through the Manager’s ethical behaviour (Phillips, 2003). This implies that unethical managers should not expect ethical behaviours from their subordinates.

Therefore, managers should realize that as the leaders of an organisation they are mandated to behave and act as role models. By doing so, they would influence their subordinates to follow suit.

During the employment sessions, managers and those who are involved in the employment processes are expected to screen job applicants to identify ethical behaviours exhibited by their potential employees. For effective screening, managers should adopt the appropriate screening techniques depending on their costs and benefits. Through this process, managers should consider investigating their potential employees’ backgrounds. This can be achieved by contacting their referees or through private investigators.

Similarly, managers should develop and implement logical codes of ethics in their organisations. For an effective code of ethics, its expectations, procedures, and consequences should be realistic. In the same way, every employee within an organisation should understand the intentions of codes of ethics.

References

Brown, M. T. (2005). Corporate integrity: rethinking organisational ethics, and leadership . New York: Cambridge University Press.

Phillips, R. (2003). Stakeholder theory and organisational ethics. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Factors Influencing Individuals’ Ethical Behaviour." February 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethical-behaviour/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Factors Influencing Individuals’ Ethical Behaviour'. 27 February.

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