Ethics in the Workplace
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Ethics in the Workplace



This presentation is intended for students in Prof. Holly Johnson's ENG 112 - Basic Composition II With Speech at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, NJ. This is a basic overview of ethical ...

This presentation is intended for students in Prof. Holly Johnson's ENG 112 - Basic Composition II With Speech at Mercer County Community College in Trenton, NJ. This is a basic overview of ethical decision making for the workplace.



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Ethics in the Workplace Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Ethics in the Workplace ENG 112 Prof. Holly Johnson
  • 2. What are ethics?In the simplest terms, the word“ethics” refers to the application ofmoral principals in the way that weconduct our individual or groupbehavior.
  • 3. So what are morals?Morals are the principals of right and wrongbehavior that are agreed upon by society.Examples of morals: • Don’t lie or cheat • Don’t hurt others • Don’t steal • Speak respectfully to your superiors
  • 4. Where do morals come from?Although morals are generally seen as separate fromreligion, most religions have strict codes of moralbehavior. The morals we share as a society are oftenbased on the moral teachings originally found inreligion. Fortunately most religions and societies holdsimilar morals, so what is moral in one country or toone religion is often the same elsewhere.
  • 5. Ethics and the LawMany laws are based on ethical principles,which are in turn based on morals.If something is unethical it’s usually illegal.But not everything that is illegal is unethical.
  • 6. Example: Say you forget to feed your parking meter whileyou’re having lunch with a friend. You may get a ticketbecause you are technically breaking the law. But beingforgetful is not unethical. You have broken the law, and youwill pay a fine, but you are still an ethical person.
  • 7. Example 2: Say you’re a cop and you pull an unarmedman from his car. He may have been speeding, but insteadof writing him a ticket, you and four other cops beat him toa pulp. This is both unethical, because you are deliberatelyhurting someone who can’t fight back, and it’s illegal.
  • 8. Example 2a: Now consider the person who shot the film ofthe Rodney King beating. He stood by and did not rush into help, instead he kept filming. On the one hand, the filmended up being used in court. On the other hand, if Kinghad died, this person would have been a witness to amurder he did nothing to prevent. The situation shows anethical dilemma.
  • 9. So how are ethics applied in the workplace?Ethics must be applied every time you have to make adecision about what’s the “right” thing to do?
  • 10. Walt keeps asking me to pick up his dry cleaning. Will I get fired I overheard the staff in if I say no? accounting talking about “just taking a little off the top.” Should I tell the boss they may be embezzling? Should we fire Lucea? She’s not great at her job, but she has three kids to feed. Amy promised me araise if I knew WindowsVista. I really need themoney, but I don’t knowthe software that well.What should I tell her?
  • 11. There is a LOT of pressure in the workplace! When your pay check depends on the choices you make, it can be really hard even for good people always to make the right decisions.
  • 12. It takes good character make ethical decisions! Trustworthiness Respect Responsibility Fairness Caring Citizenship
  • 13. Seven Steps for Ethical Decision MakingStep 1 - Stop and ThinkStep 2 - Review Long-Term GoalsStep 3 - Determine the FactsStep 4 - Consider the OptionsStep 5 - Consider the ConsequencesStep 6 - ChooseStep 7 - Monitor Results
  • 14. Step 1 - Stop and ThinkSome ethical decisions must be made very quickly, but if you have any time to stop and think, DO IT!
  • 15. Step 2 - Review Long-Term GoalsInstant gratification often leads to unethical decisions. If your long term goals include not going to jail, being someone people respect, and being able to sleep well at night, then remind yourself that it’s worth it to make ethical decisions!
  • 16. Step 3 - Determine the FactsIn the workplace, you may find someone else is cheating orbehaving unethically and feel obligated to turn them in. Youcannot act on suspicion alone! You must have all the facts.
  • 17. Step 4 - Consider the Options Do nothing Gather more info Do the right thing Doing nothing can sometimes be just as dangerous asdoing something. As for doing the right thing, you may have several options to choose from and it can be hard to know which one is best. Look at the merits of all decisions.
  • 18. Step 5 - Consider the ConsequencesIf any of the items on your list of possible actions would require lying, cheating, stealing, hurting others, or being disrespectful, cross it off the list. Ask yourself how you’d feel if everyone knew your decision; a decision that only looks good if no one else knows about it, is always the wrong choice.
  • 19. Step 6 - Choose Eventually you will have to choose a course of action, andyou alone will be responsible for the outcome, but it helps to find a mentor, someone with good character, who can help you choose wisely. Talk to people you respect and trust before making your decision.
  • 20. Step 7 - Monitor ResultsBecause we often must act with imperfect knowledge of what may happen as a consequence of our actions, some decisions may turn out badly. An ethical person monitors his or her decisions, seeswhere they went wrong, and strives to correct errors and do better in the future.
  • 21. Quick Tips Resist the urge to pass tough decisions on to someone else, assuming they’ll know what to do. Sometimes you may have to choose between the “lesser of two evils” which means there is no choice that won’t hurt someone. In such cases, the best choice is generally one that hurts fewest people. Sacrificing yourself in one way or another is seen as one of the most ethical and noble things you can do if the circumstances demand it.
  • 22. One way to get used to making tough ethical decisions is to practice! Can you think of an ethical problem? How would you solve it?
  • 23. END