Ethics refers to the practice of applying morals and values to various situations. In a business or professional setting, ethics can be defined as a professional code of conduct. Most professional organizations ask that their members abide by a code of ethics and have an ethics committee. Companies have a code of ethics, as well, which dictates how employees deal with stakeholders – coworkers, customers, and the communities they serve. How do you address ethics in your decision making? Ethics drives the decision making process.
Applying the SMART model of a good business scenario can facilitate ethical decision making. Specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, time-bound business decisions are values based decisions. In the Kava scenario, one ethical issue to address is how to cultivate human resources with respect to the various cultures represented in that nation. To be specific, we could apply American standards for human rights. To be reasonable, we have to consider the various religions that may apply different standards of human rights issues.
How might people from different parts of the world approach decision making? Why? Culture often defines ethics. Some people may use a religious standard for ethical decision making. In some countries Islamic law is not only practiced as religion, but is also the basis for the countries’ legal systems. In the United States we make ethical decisions despite our religious beliefs. For example, a Christian landlord may disagree with his unmarried tenants, but will choose to rent to them because to do so is illegal and therefore unethical.
In the Kava scenario, the challenge will be to address the cultural and religious differences. The goal will ultimately be to find a way to apply the company’s corporate culture in a way that facilitates the various ethics and processes that are representative of Kava’s population.
www. philodialogue. com. The Cultural Dimension of Business Ethics. Retrieved August 9, 2008, from http://www. philodialogue. com/10. html