Ethics in the workplace


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Learn the value of ethics in the workplace, how to deal with conflict of interest, how to instill an ethos of ethics on your board, on your council, in your community, in your organization.

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  • Thanks Jude, I never expected of all my presentations that this would get the greatest number of views. I suppose this speaks to those dealing with bad behaviour in our workplaces, which is a never ending battle.
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  • Thanks Jude, let me know if you come across a venue for me to present!
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  • CG Hylton & Associates Inc Mastering the Basics of HR Management
  • If national practice is bribery, then most companies in that nation will use bribery . If a top manager is unethical, then he/she sets a lead that others follow . When managers behave unethically, employees can be demoralized, lose faith in the organization, and even leave their jobs. Others might follow-the-leader themselves and engage in unethical behaviors. High demands for performance and profitability led Enron employees first to cut ethical corners and finally to break laws as well. According to one Enron controller, the logic was as follows: "If your boss was [fudging] and you have never worked anywhere else, you just assume that everybody fudges earnings. Once you get there and you realized how it was, do you stand up and lose your job? It was scary. It was easy to get into 'Well, everybody else is doing it, so maybe it isn't so bad.'"  
  • F undamental honesty and adherence to the law . P roduct safety and quality, workplace health and safety precautions          C onflicts of interest          E mployment practices          F air practices in selling and marketing products or services          F inancial reporting          S upplier relationships          P ricing, billing, and contracting          T rading in securities and/or use of insider information          P ayments to obtain business          A cquiring and using information about others          S ecurity and political activities          E nvironmental protection          I ntellectual property or use of proprietary information (Business Roundtable, 1988).
  • Accountants have a professional code of ethics that companies rely on .
  • Ethics in the workplace

    1. 1. Improving Your Workplace through Professional Ethics 4:00 – 4:30 pm Tues Dec 7th, 2010 Infonex 951, Whitehorse Chris Hylton, MA CG Hylton & Associates Inc. 800 449-5866 [email_address]
    2. 2. Agenda • Distinguishing between ethics, values, morals, opinions, and law • Setting an ethical code for your workplace: conflicts of interest • Role of leadership • Setting up a procedure to report and document breaches of ethics • How to respond to reported and unreported breaches of workplace ethics
    3. 3. wow <ul><li>How are we going to get thru this in 30 minutes? </li></ul><ul><li>Harvard Model anyone heard of this? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Harvard Model
    5. 5. Why Should I Be Moral? Because of My Character!
    6. 6. What makes one group virtuous and not another? <ul><li>Inner-City Gangs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Common values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Virtuous” actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Codes of honour </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Ku Klux Klan? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live tradition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stories and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enemy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The family is the strength of our nation.” </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>The Christian Church? </li></ul><ul><li>The Taliban? </li></ul><ul><li>The Scouting Movement? </li></ul><ul><li>Your community? </li></ul><ul><li>Your friends? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Are the virtues the same for everyone? <ul><li>People are very different </li></ul><ul><li>But we face the same basic problems and have the same basic needs </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone needs courage as danger can always arise </li></ul><ul><li>Some people are less well off, so we will need generosity </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone needs friends so we need loyalty </li></ul>
    10. 10. Where do Ethics come from? <ul><li>Importance of the Person, Motive, Heart, Conscience, Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Connection to Community </li></ul><ul><li>Realization that morality is not defined by moments but by a long-term process </li></ul><ul><li>Allowance for gray areas, varying contexts, different levels of moral maturity and life contexts </li></ul>
    11. 11. Weaknesses of Ethics <ul><li>Dependence on strong communities </li></ul><ul><li>Not easily applied to ethical issues or to give us practical solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Demands time </li></ul><ul><li>Can be turned into a really poor duty-based ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Might be taken as situational ethics </li></ul>
    12. 12. Pre-Contact/Old Traditions <ul><li>Aboriginals lived a traditional life, living off the land, relying on natural order, laws of Creator </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct in accordance to spiritual connection with Creator Mother Earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizing gifts, bestowed by the Creator to provide food, shelter and land for all to enjoy. </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual beliefs and customs were intact, along with traditions, celebrations through songs and dance. Medicine Wheel Teachings practiced. </li></ul><ul><li>Aboriginal people had control over their lives and lived freely </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone had a role and a responsibility, life stages were nurtured with correct teachings by Elders and those in Council. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Residential School Era Impacts
    14. 14. Positive Impacts <ul><li>Good work ethics were developed during the Residential School era, many Survivors have stated their experiences assisted in their ability to perform physical tasks and do chores that were determined with strict rules and schedules. </li></ul><ul><li>An opportunity learn to writing and reading skills, learning how to farm for the boys, and sewing, cooking and cleaning for the girls. </li></ul><ul><li>Long lasting friendships were formed. </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of pride and accomplishment because Residential School Survivors made it through hard times and a sense of strength and endurance was demonstrated. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Organizational Ethics <ul><li>Rules or standards governing the conduct of a organization </li></ul><ul><li>Moral code – what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’? </li></ul><ul><li>Highly subjective nature </li></ul><ul><li>Tension between different stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Youth, elders, haves, have nots </li></ul>
    16. 16. Stakeholders <ul><li>Community Members – provide services, housing, education, health, capacity building. Safety, honesty, decency and truthful. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees – health and safety at work, security, fair pay </li></ul><ul><li>Suppliers – pay on time, pay fair rates, for the work done, provide element of security </li></ul><ul><li>For those with for profit entities, Shareholders – Generate profits and pay dividends </li></ul>
    17. 17. Stakeholders <ul><li>Government s – abide by the law, pay taxes, abide by regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Management – their aims versus those of the organization as a whole </li></ul><ul><li>Environment – limit pollution, congestion, environmental degradation, development, etc. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Organization Ethics <ul><li>Tensions: </li></ul><ul><li>Profits versus higher wages </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of culture vs. development </li></ul><ul><li>Culture versus pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Job creation vs. wage costs </li></ul><ul><li>Favouritism among community members </li></ul><ul><li>Elders vs Youth </li></ul><ul><li>Elders vs Elders </li></ul><ul><li>Families vs familes </li></ul>
    19. 19. Ethics / Ethical Behaviour <ul><li>Ethics : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>are subjective rules that a person sets for themselves about what is right or wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Influences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family (what you were taught) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peers (pressures, influences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past Experiences (consequences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Religion (beliefs that are taught) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Situation (what is the outcome) </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Ethical Spectrum A rigid code of behaviour applied uniformly regardless of situation. Situational Amoral Moralistic Conduct & behaviour influenced by needs and wants of a particular situation Conduct & behaviour applied without regard for legal or moral constraints
    21. 21. Legal versus Ethical Legal Not Legal Ethical It is both legal and ethical to protect privacy when a customer makes online purchases from your website It is not legal, but could be considered ethical to leak information that appeared on your employer’s intranet to the media to stop an illegal activity that is occurring in your company Not Ethical It is legal by not considered ethical to call in sick to work when you are not really sick. Or to accept gifts from people in return for awarding a contract. It is neither legal nor ethical to sell e-mail addresses or your customers without their permission.
    22. 22. Ethics and Business <ul><li>Business Ethics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the application of general rules to business. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Corporate Social Responsibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>means that business decisions should take into account the social consequences of a produced course of action. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral Code </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the standard of current acceptable behaviour in society. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Laws of Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are rules established by elected officials that generally reflect the values of society at a particular time. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Transformation in Organization S2 Ethics Vision Resolutions Practices Transformation
    24. 24. F4 There is no Finishing Line
    25. 25. Defining Personality <ul><li>Relatively stable pattern of behaviours and consistent internal states that explain a person's behavioural tendencies </li></ul>
    26. 26. Big Five Personality Dimensions Outgoing, talkative Sensitive, flexible Careful, dependable Courteous, caring Anxious, hostile Extroversion Openness to Experience Conscientiousness Agreeableness Neuroticism
    27. 27. Organizational Ethics <ul><li>The cultural context influences organizational ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Top managers also influence ethics </li></ul><ul><li>The combined influence of culture and top management influence organizational ethics and ethical behaviors </li></ul>
    28. 28. Ways Organizations promote Ethics <ul><li>Top management commitment in word and deed </li></ul><ul><li>Company codes of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Supply chain codes </li></ul><ul><li>Develop, monitor, enforce ethical behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Seek external assistance </li></ul>
    29. 29. External Assistance with Ethics <ul><li>Industry or professional codes </li></ul><ul><li>Certification programs, e.g., ISO 9000 </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting standards </li></ul><ul><li>Social services codes </li></ul><ul><li>Elders </li></ul><ul><li>Spirituality </li></ul>
    30. 30. Conflict of Interest <ul><li>Usually refers to conflict between professional duties and personal interests </li></ul><ul><li>Can also refer to conflict between professional duties/values and other values </li></ul>
    31. 31. Objective Decision-making <ul><li>Often expressed in Codes of Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Opposite of subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Does the decision and the reasoning behind it hold up to scrutiny by the “reasonable peer”? </li></ul><ul><li>No bias, truthfulness, no conflict of interest </li></ul>
    32. 32. For Chief <ul><li>Name some objective decision making goals </li></ul><ul><li>Put community first </li></ul>
    33. 33. How many decisions are clear cut? <ul><li>The 60 / 40 decision is common among politicians </li></ul>