Ethics is the study of ideal behavior. Although there are many definitions of ethics many refer to the definition put forth by Will Durant, the historian and writer. “Durant’s definition of ethics as the study of ideal conduct has meaning because it teaches that ethics has two elements. First, knowledge of ethics is not something with which we are born; it is acquired by study. Second, ethics is not common behavior, it is the ideal conduct we hope to find in the best of us” (Christensen, 1995, p. 32). Ethics is not something that people are born with, ethics are learned. Comparing cultures shows that while one culture may find an activity acceptable and ethical other societies may condemn the same behavior. An organization that is concerned with ethical behavior by its members must teach what is an acceptable and ethical behavior.
Corporations must teach ethics to its employees. The guidelines that the company sets in place must be made known to every employee and upheld. It is a huge task to make sure the company is covering ethics in its training program. Large organizations have to make a serious commitment to training, take for example the fact that in 2011, Accenture spent more than “370,000 hours of ethics and compliance training, and the company has a zero-tolerance policy for corruption or serious violations of its Code of Business Ethics” (“Ethics”, 2012, p. 74). The training procedure for ethics should involve clear notice of what is considered ethical behavior along with examples of people acting appropriately as well as examples of employees not acting in an ethical manner. The goal of the ethics training is to make sure employees know that if they act in an unethical manner there will be consequences.
Christensen, B. A. (1995). Ethics by definition. Journal of the American Society of CLU & ChFC, 49(5), 32. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/209609074?accountid=32521
Ethics; accenture releases 2010-2011 corporate citizenship report. (2012). Information Technology Newsweekly, , 74. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/993132242?accountid=32521