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Discussion of business ethics rests on rather ambiguous grounds. What one person considers highly unethical can be legitimate in another person's eye. Many businesses operate under tenets that, although not illegal, most people would consider unethical. Having the ability to distinguish between ethical and unethical practices does not guarantee that a business owner will consistently choose the ethical decision. Business owners need to realize the tremendous benefits of operating an ethical company and severe disadvantages of using unethical operations. Guidelines that can help them create or improve the ethical standards within their companies include the following: (1) if the company has committed a serious error, do not attempt to cover it up; (2) create a believable public commitment to ethical operations; (3) establish a strategy to communicate the ethics guidelines to the staff; (4) build trust with employees and constantly monitor the ethics program; (5) hire people who can uphold the company's high ethical standards; and (5) realize that company executives are role models. Trust is one of the company's most vital assets. Maintaining the highest ethical standards adds to a company's value and success. Consequences of success in an unethical business are short lived. If customers or clients learn a company cheats, they may never return. A business cannot operate successfully if employees abuse sick days, cut corners on quality, lie to colleagues, cover up incidents, deceive customers, and take credit for co-workers' ideas. (YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Adults, Business, Business Education, Ethical Instruction, Ethics, Honesty, Integrity, Success, Values, Values Education, Vocational Education

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Autor: Akhavan, Kambiz


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