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Susan M. Heathfield

Did You Bring Your Business Ethics to Work Today?

By December 27, 2013

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Writing recently about developing a code of conduct or code of ethics, as it is sometimes called, I was struck by the importance of an organization having a code to guide employee behavior.

The truth, in cases of an apparent lapse in business ethics by a high level, high profile employee, always lies somewhere between what a company or the individual is willing to publicly disclose and the voraciousness with which the media report the story. And, I am a true believer in an employee's right to privacy when the issue of employee confidentiality is at stake. So, the public rarely knows the whole story - and that is okay with me.

Business Ethics and Managers

The behavior of any individual in a management role, an employee who is trusted to supervise the work of other employees or a function within an organization, must rise above the standard set and expected by a company for all employees. Organizations need to hold managers to a higher standard than is expected from other employees. Managers must model sterling business ethics behavior.

So, business ethics takes center stage this week in my thinking and writing. My article addresses the broad topic of business ethics and provides examples of ways in which business ethics are ignored in workplaces every day.

Some of my examples of lapses in business ethics may surprise you as they range from the catastrophic to the tiny little decisions that employees make when no one is watching and no one will ever know. To spice matters up a bit, I have also supplied an opportunity for you to add your stories and examples business ethics gone awry. Please help expand our set of examples by entering your example here.

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