CHP 4 NOTES- ETHICS & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY - MANAGING...

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MANAGING ETHICS AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Many managers slide into unethical or illegal behavior simply because they don’t have the courage to stand up and do the right thing. It probably won’t happen right away, but soon enough you will be confronted with situations that will test the strength of your moral beliefs or sense of justice. I. WHAT IS MANAGERIAL ETHICS? Ethics is the code of moral principles and values that govern the behaviors of a person or group with respect to what is right or wrong. Ethics sets standards as to what is good or bad in conduct and decision making. Ethics deals with internal values that are a part of corporate culture and shape decisions concerning social responsibility with respect to the external environment. Human behavior falls into three categories. Codified law . Values and standards are written into the legal system and are enforceable in the courts. Lawmakers have ruled that people and corporations must behave in a certain way such as obtaining licenses for cars or paying taxes. Free choice . Free choice pertains to behavior about which law has no say and for which an individual or organization enjoys complete freedom. Ethics . Ethics lies between the domains of codified law and free choice. It has no specific laws, but does have standards of conduct that are based on shared principles and values about moral conduct that guide an individual or company. Because ethical standards are not codified, disagreements and dilemmas about proper behavior often occur. II. ETHICAL MANAGEMENT TODAY The pervasiveness of ethical lapses during the first decade of this century has been astounding. Although public confidence in business managers in particular is at an all-time low, politics, sports, and non-profit organizations have also been affected. In the business world, the names of once-revered corporations have become synonymous with greed, deceit, irresponsibility, and lack of moral conscience. Managers carry a tremendous responsibility for setting the ethical climate in an organization and can act as role models for others. The widespread ethical lapses of the past decade have put managers under increasing scrutiny. III. ETHICAL DILEMMAS: WHAT WOULD YOU DO? An ethical dilemma arises in a situation concerning right or wrong when values are in conflict and right and wrong cannot be clearly defined. The individual who must make an ethical choice in an organization is the moral agent . IV. CRITERIA FOR ETHICAL DECISION MAKING Managers faced with tough ethical choices often benefit from a normative strategy based on norms and values to guide their decision making. Normative ethics is based on norms and values. Six approaches are relevant for managers in making ethical decisions.

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