Ethical Issues versus Moral Issues
September 30, 2010
Edward Zilton, Jr. B.S. MBA/EB
In recent times in America, it has become more commonplace for business, both large and small, to engage in un-ethical, immoral and corrupt business practices. To say the least the current financial crisis and state of economy in America is due in part if not most to these types of activities. Ethical and moral issues in today’s society need held to a higher standard if the United States is to maintain its status in the world.
Ethics are generally classified into two categories, ethics involving a person and ethics involving a company or organization. Personal ethics are defined as problems or situations, which require a person to choose between alternatives that must be evaluated as either right or wrong. Ethical behavior is a defining character trait and a significant influence of how others perceive an individual. “Developing a personal code of ethics is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. A personal code of ethics puts into writing those ideas and philosophies that are the essence of your life and allows you to say I will do this because I believe this” (All About Philosophy, 2002-2010).
Business ethics are defined as decisions, actions and conduct of the business organization and the conduct of all individuals within the organization. Business ethics recently moved to the foreground of many companies since the 1980’s with the Exxon Valdez incident and the Enron disaster along with more recently the real estate and housing loan scandals. As in personal ethics, a business organization is best suited when they incorporate a written code of ethics. It is imperative that business and each employee not only practice ethical standards set forth but also to believe in them. Ethics are best when delivered from the top down, reviewed annually, and have each individual sign off after having read.
There are slight...