Ethics and Social Responsibility

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place a critical role in thePrinciples of Management. The definition of Ethical responsibility inthe workforce is a company’s social responsibility not to violateaccepted principles of right and wrong when conducting business, butalso balancing the Social Responsibility, which is the business’sobligation to pursue policies to make decisions that benefit society.In other words, organizations should not only focus on making profitsbut should also take into account the effects the business is havingon the society. Corporate social responsibilities can be viewed interms of the two broad categories where an organization can financeor support activities that are beneficial to the society such as theconstruction of schools or can enhance the production of its goodsand services. The second category can be achieved when companies suchas the ones producing chocolate bars get their cocoa beans from farmsthat do not lead to deforestation (Kalshoven &amp De Hoogh, 2012).Having is crucial to all managementtypes to create a happy and healthy work environment, for bothemployees of the company, and its consumers. Further, investors arealso attracted to organizations with strong ethical standards andclear social responsibilities. Notably, every business enterprise hasits own code of ethics, which employees must follow and observe atall times. The ethical standards of a company form the culture thatdefines such a company.

Thesis: As many organizations focus on making profits, theyoverlook the role and importance of ethics and social responsibilityin the workplace and this can easily lead the failure of an theireconomic performance.

One primary importance of ethics and social responsibility in theworkplace is the regulation of ethical behaviors. Since every companyhas a code of ethics that governs all employees including themanagers, employees are bound to behave in particular ways that arein line with the ethical standards of the company (Lewis, 2012). Forexample, an organization can prohibit employees from engaging incorrupt activities. Equally, an organization may establish proceduresfor conflict resolution aimed at promoting ethical behaviors.Eventualities such as physical fights between employees are avoidedthrough ethical codes. Research has also indicated that someorganizations limit the form of relationships that employees canengage in. romantic relationships in the workplace are prohibitedsince it is construed that it might affect the productivity of theemployees. The culture of an organization is established through thebehaviors that employees depict.

There are numerous negative behaviors that employees can engage inat the workplace, and ethical codes are necessary to curb suchactions. Workplace deviance is common in many organizations andconstitutes actions that are likely to cause harm to the organizationin one way or the other. Oftentimes, some employees will displayattributes of intolerance and hatred towards fellow employees whomight be of different cultures or nationalities. Further, instancesof sexual harassment and intimidation are common in the workplace.These behaviors can be controlled and managed in organizations whereethical standards are followed. Notably, moral codes attempt tocreate a uniform workplace environment where all employees are equaland interact on the basis of mutual respect. Other forms of deviancethat can easily be avoided in organizations with strict ethics andsocial responsibility include property and production deviance. Theseare behaviors that can result in the destruction or theft oforganization’s property and wastage of time and resourcesrespectively (Virakul &amp Lee, 2015). Lack of proper ethicalstandards in an organization can easily result in employee shrinkage,political deviance, and personal aggression. It is evident that someemployees will deliberately report to work in the morning late oreven arrive in a meeting twenty minutes when everyone else hasalready arrived. This is called aggressive behavior, and it amountsto unethical behavior in the workplace. Political deviance is abehavior that occurs when employees, especially the ones in seniormanagement tend to favor some employees. Evidently, such behaviorshappen in the workplace due to the lack of an effective, ethical codeand social responsibility. Organizations that are rife with the abovedeviant behaviors such as corruption and wastage of organization’stime and resources fail to attract the appropriate investors,customers, or even employees. The workplace needs to be a place whereall employees feel accepted and satisfied. This would only occur whenemployees are coming from all cultural and national backgrounds. Inan organization with the culture of appreciating diversity, everyemployee will be appreciated and celebrated.

Ethical intensity at the workplace denotes the moral value orrelevance that a particular issue or decision has on the organizationand the workers. Many factors influence workplace ethical intensity,and they include the following. Ethical intensity will be affected bythe magnitude of consequences, which are the benefits or harm causedto employees as a result of a particular decision. Secondly, theprobability of effect is the likelihood that the expected outcome ofa decision that is made will be achieved (Kalshoven &amp De Hoogh,2012). The ethical intensity can also be affected by socialconsensus, which is the agreement amongst people that a particulardecision is either right or wrong. The temporal immediacy is alsoanother factor that influences ethical intensity. This is the timebetween when a decision is made, and the time the consequences arerealized. Lastly, the ethical intensity is also affected by theconcentration of effect, which constitutes the number of people hitby a decision.

Managers at various organizations are faced with various ethicaldilemmas, and they must make the appropriate and right choices. Theprocess of making these ethical decisions is usually guided bydifferent principles. Firstly, the principle of human rights must beconsidered where a decision ought to respect the freedom of speech,choice, happiness, and self-respect. It is also essential to considerthe cost and benefit of a decision. Ethical decisions should resultin the greater good. Further, the ethical decision-making process isdetermined by cultural self-interests. The ability of a decision totreat all people equally or what is called universalism must beconsidered when making ethical decisions (Lewis, 2012). It is evidentthat today’s workplaces have employees from different cultural andnational backgrounds, and there is need to treat them equally.Lastly, ethical decisions must be based on justice, and they mustensure that the opportunities, wealth, and positions are sharedequally. These factors of the ethical decision-making process arecritical in that they make sure the decisions arrived at areagreeable by all the parties, and that the rights of all theemployees are respected.

The process of hiring employees is long and tedious as it aims atrecruiting employee whose attributes are in line with the culture ofthe organization. Organizations with ethical standards and proceduresfor social responsibility tend to select and hire employees with highethical standards. Notably, there are some specific attributes thatorganizations consider while selecting employees for hiring (Siegel,2014). Firstly, candidates with a history of corruption of workplacedeviant behaviors are likely not to be hired. Further, organizationsmight consider the social responsibilities that an employee has everengaged in. Oftentimes, organizations use checklists of ethicalbehaviors to assess the suitability of candidates for employment.Candidates are meant to meet the certain ethical threshold in orderto qualify for further consideration.

There is no organization or company that does not have a code ofethics. This is a document that contains the values and the missionof a company. It highlights the ethical standards that employees areheld, and the way employees are supposed to behave, interact withfellow employees, customers, and investors, as well as how to tacklevarious work-related problems such as conflicts (Rao &amp Vitell,2013). Newly hired employees, as well as the existing employees of anorganization, require the necessary ethics training. While some ofthe code of ethics elements such as the non-violent approach toproblems, there are others such as formal language that are notcommon. Further, different organizations have varying codes ofethics, and it is essential to offer training to employees regardingtheir expected behavior and approach to problems.

Social responsibility is an aspect that no organization should takelightly considering the effects it has on an organization’sreputation and profitability. Organizations have an obligation toserve the society and to not only focus on making profits, but alsoparticipating in the betterment of the society in which they operate.For example, an organization that works in a poor country where itmakes huge profits, and many children do not go to school for lack oftuition fees has a responsibility to support such children. Further,social responsibility also occurs through the production process ofan organization (Virakul &amp Lee, 2015). For example, organizationsmust make sure that they source their raw materials from such ascocoa beans from farms that do not lead to deforestation or the useof child laborers. Besides, organizations have the responsibility totreat employees fairly, pay them well, and engage in honestadvertising where they give the right information to the customers.

Customers, employees, and investors demand that organizations mustbe socially responsible. The organizations must respond to theserequirements through engaging in activities that are sociallyresponsible, and that whose impact on the environment and the peopleis beneficial or at least not harmful. It is important fororganizations to have proper waste disposal systems and to make surethe environment is protected (Zairi &amp Peters, 2012). Further,organizations must seek the views of the investors, customers, andthe employees in deciding which social responsibilities they shouldcarry out. Oftentimes, the customers are informed of the problemsfacing the society. Organizations must realize that socialresponsibility directly linked to their economic performance.Investors, who pump in their money into organizations hence raisingthe organization’s value, cannot invest in a company that has a badreputation. Furthermore, customers are likely to engage in businesswith an organization that has the reputation of solving some societalproblems. This is a clear indication that social responsibilityaffects the economic performance of an organization.

While concluding, there is no doubt that ethics and socialresponsibility are essential elements in the success of any businessenterprise. They not only determine the reputation of an organizationbut also affect the economic performance or the organization. Incompanies where there are high ethical standards, employees tend tobe satisfied, and there is low employee turnover. Ethics and socialresponsibility ensure that an organization produces products andservices that are widely accepted by clients due to the nature of theethical operations of the company. It is essential to note that inthis era of the internet and social media, information regarding theethical standards or social responsibility of an organization canspread extremely fast. Organizations must, therefore, remain ethical,and participate corporate social duties in they want to stay relevantand competitive.


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Lewis, B. (2012). The moral compass: Corporations aren’t moralagents, creating interesting dilemmas for business leaders.InfoWorld, 24(10), 54.

Rao, N. &amp Vitell, S. (2013). How important are Ethics and SocialResponsibility? A Multinational Study of Marketing Professionals.European Journal of Marketing 35 (1– 2): 133-53.

Siegel, M. (2014). Corporate Social Responsibility and FinancialPerformance: Correlation or Misspecification? StrategicManagement Journal 21 (5): 603–9.

Virakul, B. &amp Lee, D. J. (2015). Ethics institutionalization,quality of work life, and employee job-related outcomes: A survey ofhuman resource managers in Thailand. Journal of BusinessResearch, 63, 20-26.

Zairi, M. &amp Peters, J. (2012).The Impact of Social Responsibilityon Business Performance. Managerial Auditing Journal 17 (4):174–78.