One of the hardest practices not only in business world but also in social life is acting ethically. At times, business operators are unable to distinguish what is ethical for them from what is unethical. Consequently, most of them consider the term “business ethics” to be a contradiction. There are instances when business operators understand what is ethical for them but still falter due to superior hurdles that prevent them from acting ethically. However, it is good to state that the term “business ethics” is not a contradiction as it significantly contributes to the success of any business.
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There people who claim that there is no need for organizations coming up with policies to be followed as it is possible for them to identify unethical behaviors committed by their employees (Holme 249). This is not always the case. There are instances when ethical issues in business environment become complex. For instance, an employee may be productive but on the other hand found to be sexually harassing his or her fellow employees and customers. It is in such instances that business ethics plays its role. Such an employee is dealt with according to the stipulated policies. It would not be wise to dismiss such an employee at once as the organization would lose competent personnel.
Those who claim that business ethics is a contradiction argue that it only entails doing what is right and organizations that at times falter ought to give up seeking to be ethical (Holme 250). Therefore, they expect a business to be a hundred percent ethical and not to report instances of unethical practice. This may not be always the case as it is hard to avoid mistakes within a business. Despite organizations doing all it takes to be ethical, they need not to pressurize their staffs as it may lead to them getting discouraged thus not embracing the spirit of being ethical.
As business operators struggle to achieve their goals, they at times look for strategies that turn out not to be ethical despite them helping the business to achieve its goals. This does not imply that “business ethics” is a contradiction and organizations ought to give up as it is difficult to achieve it. Rather, organizations ought to look for superior ways of aligning their operations with the established values and policies. No improvement can be achieved without giving room for errors. After all, there would bee no need for improvement if a business is not experiencing ethical challenges.
There is a philosophy that continuous improvement is achievable in business practices. To improve its operations, a business begins by accepting that there are areas that need to be improved. Else if the business does not acknowledge this, it can not take the initiative to improve its practices (Schmidt para. 11). Similarly, it is imperative to treat “business ethics” like other organizational practices. No one in the business world can be said to be ethically perfect. However, businesses can improve their ethical conducts bit by bit through continuous improvement. Was perfection to be the unattainable standard being used it would be right to view “business ethics” as a contradiction.
Nonetheless, it is illogical to arrive at such a conclusion. Businesses need to review their conducts and policies to determine the areas that need to be changed. Through this a business can be in a position to improve its ethical policies and practices. This is the ultimate way through which the critics of “business ethics” may see its benefits thus stop using cynical terms when referring to it. Rather than perceiving “business ethics” as a contradiction, organizations ought to view it as an opportunity through which it can strengthen its ties with customers as well as attract and retain qualified personnel.
Holme, Charles. “Business ethics – part one: Does it matter?” Industrial and Commercial Training 40.5 (2008): 248-252.
Schmidt, David. “Isn’t business ethics an oxymoron?” 2008. Web.