On ethics in the workplace


A COLLEAGUE CAME TO ME the other day in confidence asking for some insights regarding the delicate issue of ethics in the workplace. In a stressed economy it’s never easy to to make decisions driven from the conscience alone. The political landscape inside of troubled companies can be dangerous and fraught with poor communication and survivalist mentalities.

Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005) educator, politician and author poses a difficult dilemma, When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses. Idealists rarely become millionaires because they are consumed by human needs and social interactions. In terms of pure profit, unhealthy businesses and organizations rarely sustain themselves because they are incapable of creating vital interactive work environments. Myopic organizations rarely take the time to examine themselves in terms of moral and ethical rubrics. Decisions of the conscience are extremely difficult with life-changing consequences. Taking the long view, consistent moral and ethical behaviors will ultimately lead to more desirable and fruitful livelihoods.

Here are some excellent resources on this topic: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson | ASEA & the Center for Associate Leadership | Perspectives for Life and Work by Jeffrey W. Comment


2 Responses to “On ethics in the workplace”

  1. 1 Brynna October 14, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I have an aquaintance who runs a consulting firm that trains companies in ethics. You are right on target about the economy as he is having a very difficult time selling his product right now. But when we were chatting last weekend I told him that the ethical issues were rampant when the economy was “good”: For example, the mortgage companies. We love to trash the CEO’s but the truth is, most of the people bundling the mortgages on the bottom rungs knew exactly what they were doing and to our knowledge, nobody protested. Young people in their twenties and thirties were making hundreds of thousands a year doing this so why would they blow the whistle? But they KNEW, they all KNEW.
    So how to keep this from being so rampant again? I suggested to my friend that he team up with a branding consultant to give his clients a new image along with their upgraded practices. Hmmmmm… know anyone in this field?

  2. 2 Savannah October 17, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

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