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What do you think ethics in the workplace means? When you hear the word ethics what do you think of? Give a situation in which you think ethics are at work


In workplace ethics, I think of professional and courteous people. Things like being polite and considerate to others while respecting their rights as a human being would be ethical.
I think of situations where a man is at work with another group of men telling a crude joke. The vulgar use of words and descriptive story telling makes its way to someone nearby and is found insulting. The story usually ends and a loud sound of laughter is heard across the office and only a few know what went on. Later in the day, the offended person tells a supervisor or manager and then the people involved in the crude joke are summoned into an office where they are slapped on the wrists and told not to let it happen again.

I think that the term workplace ethics is when you use more principles or statements in an everyday situation. One example that I would think of occurs on a typical workday for me. Since I work in a nursing home, I have to make every day decisions based on if it is a justified or ethical decision. One good example would be when us coworkers need to respect and practice the privacy policy and not give out personal information, which is clearly based on whether this is an ethical decision, in which it is. I think that most people in the world today are faced with making ethical decisions, whether it is work, school, or personal related. The basis on making an ethical decision is determining whether the decision is "right" based on what you believe in. So as stated before, I think that workplace ethics are decisions that people make in everyday situations based on their principles and what they believe in.

What do I think of when I hear "workplace ethics?" The first thing that comes to mind are are values and morals which go hand and hand with ethics. When dealing with workplace ethics I think of the highest set of standards of ethics, values, and morals because of the professional setting. When working in a professional setting you are more often than not working for someone else and representing some sort of firm, company, person, etc. Your actions not only reflect on yourself but also the company you work for thus a high set of ethics need to be put in place to ensure a professional environment.

One instance where attention to ethics was needed but was not reached was in an old Seinfield episode. Kramer walked into a cologne company and pitched his idea of creating a scent based on the scent of the ocean and beach. The owners of the company looked at him as though he was crazy and Kramer left feeling defeated. A couple weeks later Kramer is flipping through a magazine where he sees an ad for a beach cologne created by the same company he pitched the idea to. What's not ethical about this situation? Well, if the company had any sort of ethical standards they would not have used Kramer's idea without giving him credit and a portion of the profits.

I think that the term 'workplace ethics' can be broken up into categories. Recognizing that the physical decisions that one makes should be founded in ethical practice, much like following the confidentiality code that Elise talked about, is one aspect. However, there is also a code of workplace ethics when it comes to writing while on the job, i.e. using inclusive language, citing sources properly, etc. An example of using workplace ethics could be that idea of the progress report we talked about in class. I'm a landscape student. Working on a site, it would be important for my boss to know exactly how far ahead/behind I am on a project. If I were to give a false account of my progress, my boss could potentially be blindsided and not be able to budget for an extended period of work, and the project could ultimately fail.

When the term “workplace ethics� is mentioned, I think of personal ethical morals practiced on a broader, more public scale. From early on, the majority of people are taught common ethical morals, such as do not lie, cheat, or steal, treat others how you would like to be treated, and to judge things in a fair manner. The option to practice ethics really comes into play in the workplace where you are expected to successfully work alongside numerous individuals with different views on religion, politics, sexuality, etc. Although it is not always the easy option at certain times, proper use of ethics in the workplace generally results in secure trust between clients and coworkers, reliability, and a clean conscious. A classic example of practicing poor ethics, or none at all, with a client recently occurred with a very close friend of mine that I will just call Tom. Due to experiencing a back injury, Tom goes to a chiropractor every now and then when the pain his back pain begins to flare up. During his most recent visit, he was worked on by a new, young, attractive intern, but thought nothing more of it. Later on that same day, he noticed that the intern added him as a friend on facebook.com. This was only the first of many unethical things done by the intern. In addition to adding Tom on facebook.com, the intern added him on instant messenger and they began talking, deciding to meet up outside of the clinic. One thing led to another and they ended up having sexual relations. The most unethical part about this is that the intern only wanted to “fool around� and asked Tom to keep it on the down low so they would not lose their job. After this whole ordeal, Tom went back to the clinic once more, but felt that it was too awkward to return. This unethical behavior practiced by the intern not only results in loss of one client, but in the loss of a good reputation, leading to further loss in business.

When I think about the term "workplace ethics", I think about ethical judgement in various situations. One situation that would warrant workplace ethics would be the night shift cashier at a gas station. This worker is usually at the store alone and has "ultimate" power in a sense. This worker could take money out of the cash register or even take products and say it was stolen. It all depends on how ethical this worker's mind is, but it could harm the gas station's profit if in the wrong hands. Just think, if Spongebob would take the recipe for Krabby Patties and sell it for a nice price to a competitor, it would mean a loss of business for the Krusty Krab, but Spongebob would be richer for it. It all depends on the worker...

The first thing that comes to my train of thought when "workplace ethics" is mentioned is professional and mature behavior.
For example, employees from Target Corporate would not be arm wrestling while on the job. This action shows no professionalism of the employees nor the company that they represent and is not allowed within the company. So employees have decisions to make whether it is an ethical or unacceptable one.

When I think of work place ethics, I normally think of ethical decisions in running a company. Consider the following: A toy manufacturer from an old industrial complex in central Ohio is currently having difficulties competing in the market of toys. The manufacturer decides that a stronger attempt should be made to cut costs, and one proposal from a consultant was to abandon the current domestic supplier by buying from a cheaper supplier based in China. Recent news reports suggested that some toys coming from China might cause lead poisoning if a small child puts the toy in their mouth for an extended period of time. The manufacturer doesn’t know for sure whether or not the new supplier is the one making news. If a change is not made in supply, the company will likely continue to lose market-share and be forced to lay-off more workers from Ohio in the coming months.

When I hear the word "workplace ethics" I normally think of people having respect for one another while they work together in their workplace. This means employees having boundries and lines when it comes to viewing each other values and beliefes. To me this means respecting others moral beliefs and thoughts and being an open minded individual that can tolerate others racial or background differences. For example i work at Abbott Northwestern Hospital as a dietary aide. I normally deliever food to patients and take their food orders. A good example of how the workplace ethic applies to my job is the fact that I have pateints from all over the globe and when i do talk to them i have to learn how to tolerate and respect their differences. One of this difference being different cultures and religions have a certain type of food that they do not eat. A good example being the Jewish people having a Kosher diet, the Muslims not eating pork, and Indians not eating cow meat. So as I take my food order i have to learn what patients i have and what type of diets applies to them, and i have to respect their different choices of food.

To me, ethics in the workplace signifies having respect for yourself and others in all aspects of your job. An ethical worker is one who does the job they are meant to do and is honest about their faults and accomplishments. They also have respect for the people they work with, physically and mentally. Coworkers should respect each others autonomous rights as well as their position within the company. An ethical worker knows their boundaries and recognizes their obligations to those above and below them. Honesty is a large part of this. Most people have jobs where they work independently for a lot of the day. An ethical person is honest in their work and what they report to others about what they are doing or have done. A situation that comes to mind is how many office workers spend a lot of their time at work surfing the internet, playing solitaire, etc. This may or may not be an issue depending on the situation, but I see an unethical worker as one who tries to hide what they are doing and pretend they are working on something else. This person obviously knows they are doing something wrong or they wouldn't be trying to hide it. They are therefore not only disrespecting themselves and their job, but they are disrespecting their superiors and coworkers who depend on them to be productive.

Workplace ethics makes me think about the potential problems that could arise at a business and the proper way of handling situations that may be controversial.
When I think about a situation that involves business ethics, I think about working in a restaurant and getting food for free when you’re not supposed to. I think that this is a very realistic situation where people could go either way. Many people wouldn't care about taking free food from a restaurant that makes a lot of money, but a lot of other people would choose to pay for the food at the same time. I think that at times it can be hard for people to make ethical decisions in situations where no one is getting hurt. I know that just because someone isn't getting hurt it doesn't make it any better but I can understand why it may be difficult for some people to make the right decision.

It is interesting that many of the contributers have linked ethics with morality. While I agree that the two may overlap the impetus behind a moral action vs. an ethical action are often quite different. Ethics should be objective and stand on their own merit whereas morals are often the result of an individuals belief system. An example would be an individual that does not follow societies norms are often called immoral, an unethical person is often a cheat. So what do I think work place ethics are all about. I think workplace ethics involves a quest for balance. It is when you do not use your position for personal gain nor do you use your position to the detriment of others. Insider trading is unethical, or Enron price manipulation is unethical.

When people say the words work place ethics I usually think of people getting promotions due to the fact that they have connections or have some kind of relationship with the managers and supervisors. To me, workplace ethics is doing what's morally right in the work place. So many times I have seen people that are not qualified get jobs they are not ready for. When I hear the word ethics I think of what my management professor told me. He told me that if I was ever a manager of a firm that I must always put the company and the people that work there first. If someone is doing something that can change the environment of the work place, you must fix it. He gave us an example of when he saw the CEO (who's married) of his company having an affair with his secretary. He said he did the ethical thing by reporting it, because if he didn't the secretary could later file a sexual harassment suit against the company. We all must do what is morally right because if we don’t it will come back and bit us in the back. Sometimes being ethical doesn't always mean being nice. Sometimes you have to do things that are unpleasant to you, but in the end it's for the greater good.

I think ethics in the workplace is about how people act towards each other. People should treat each other with respect and also treat everyone fairly. Discriminating against someone because of their gender, race, ethnicity and so on is an example of bad ethics. I work in a restaurant and this happens pretty frequently. Most of the cooks are male, and most of the servers are female, and there are many sexual jokes that are told by the male employees. Another situation that has happened at my work was when one of the female servers came in to check her schedule wearing her regular clothes. One of the dishwashers made a comment about how sexy she looked, and told another employee to tell her that she was “lookin’ fine�. These comments that were made were in a joking manner, but it should still not happen. Another situation that occurs quite often is when the cooks talk to each other in the kitchen using foul language. The kitchen is close to some of the tables, and the customers have heard some of the things the cooks have said. Let’s just say they were not happy, especially because the restaurant is family oriented. I could go on for pages talking about the different situations that have happened just at my work, but I won’t.

I believe that ethics in the workplace means that people should perform their duties in a manner that reflects professionalism in its entirety. When I hear the word “ethics�, it brings to my mind the fact that not all people perform ethically/professionally. As competition rapidly increases and global markets merge, there becomes the ever nagging stress for employees to perform at 110%. We/they work at getting the most done or striking the best deal, while waffling on the line of moral and ethical behavior becomes a daily routine. Throughout our careers as working individuals we will be challenged on an ongoing basis of making the right decisions which will usually entail a fair amount of work, or the wrong decisions which may be the easiest, and cheapest, but immoral and unethical. I understand that ethics in general and especially in the work place can often be a very gray area to steer through, but you must remember that you will be held accountable at one point in time for all the actions you’ve made. That is why I leave you all with this: There is often no definite right or wrong answer, but the answer chosen is what you’ll have to sleep with.
As for a situation that I feel ethics are at work would be in our justice system. The judges that make some of the final decisions make ethical decisions. They do this with only a reference to legal guidelines to what would be the appropriate decision and then personalize it with their own ethical code.

When one hears the term "Workplace Ethics," it implies a higher standard of professionalism in the way a firms conducts business. This may include company billing, handling of sensitive, personal or confidential information or tolerance of diversity in customers, employees and suppliers.

One situation that comes to light in regards to work place ethics occurred while working at a consulting firm. There was an intern who was asked to observe a project inspect for proper installation rates of a material being installed that day on a city construction project. This was the first time that the intern has seen this material being installed and was not given adequate instructions for what to observe. Independent testing on this project indicated that the material was under applied. The firm represented a city and was supposed to monitor the progress on the project, The intern's supervisor told him to bill his time to another city for a different project because the firm did not want to take responsibility for the under applied material. Even though the responsibility was on the contractor, the firm wanted no liability on this project that more than likely could end up in court. So to mitigate the risk another city was billed and the tax payers in that city would be paying for consulting work in a different city.

The term workplace ethics makes me think of the values and actions an organization sets as the standards for the company and its employees to abide by. Most organizations value the basics such as honesty and respect, but some companies may set additional standards based on innovation and quality.

As an employee working with budgets and finances at the University, I have been made aware of many polices and procedures that have been set as guiding principles. One university policy states that “gifts� valued over $5.00 are not to be accepted by University employees, and if received, the gift should be donated to a charitable organization, but every holiday season the predicament appears when vendors bring in cookies or other edible treats as a thank you. These gifts are not to be accepted, because they could be seen as a conflict of interest or a bribe, but many times people within the department rationalize it as the value per person is less than $5.00, so the gift is acceptable. According to policy the treats should be donated, due you think the actions of these employees is unethical?

There are so many situations involving work ethics that come to mind since I work as an administrator with HR and accounting responsibilities. I many situations I have had to be very careful of what I approve for expenditures. One situation that comes to mind is from awhile back when I was working on the on a fundraising event and one of our employees purchased an item in one of our auctions and then later on donated it back to the museum. It was odd because you can count a tax deduction for donations, and in some cases people can purchase an item at a fundraising event and not claim there was an item purchased/payment and use it as a donation deduction.
It may not be a double-dipping tax deduction situation, but it did seem to have that potential and the ethics of those transactions were question by a few employees privy to the knowledge from working on the event.

There are so many situations involving work ethics that come to mind since I work as an administrator with HR and accounting responsibilities. I many situations I have had to be very careful of what I approve for expenditures. One situation that comes to mind is from awhile back when I was working on the on a fundraising event and one of our employees purchased an item in one of our auctions and then later on donated it back to the museum. It was odd because you can count a tax deduction for donations, and in some cases people can purchase an item at a fundraising event and not claim there was an item purchased/payment and use it as a donation deduction.
It may not be a double-dipping tax deduction situation, but it did seem to have that potential and the ethics of those transactions were question by a few employees privy to the knowledge from working on the event.

Ethics in the workplace means working respectfully and being aware of possible harm that could be done. Values such as honesty, loyalty, integrity, and personal responsibility must be present in order for a workplace to be ethical. Each person must own their job and be qualified to do the appropriate duties. An employee owning their own job and taking responsibility for their duties is the most basic form of being ethical. The employee should be at the workplace for the correct reasons: to earn a living while benefiting the company. When I think of the word ethics, I think of doing tasks for the right reasons and doing them the correct way. Each task an employee attempts carries with it a wrong way and a right way to accomplish it. If the employee procrastinates, is lazy to get started, and uses a quick short term solution, that employee is not working for the better of the company and is unethical. The next step of ethics is more external as a way of “acting out�. For example: being impolite, lying, gossiping about colleagues, or taking excessive supplies for the employees own use.

Wonderful to read!