In general terms the concept of ethics relates to how we conduct ourselves from a moralistic, obligatory and virtuous standpoint. Whereas personal ethics are more in keeping with our personal values and commitments to others, professional /business ethics tends to be more holistic by nature and relates to those standards we uphold in our professional lives. In certain professions these can be very serious and have life threatening consequences i.e. Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, etc.
Being a morale person is to be guided by a sense of personal ethical standards and to live within the confines of the law and your religion. This means respecting the rights of others and being equitable in your affairs with people. Success often is born from opposite morale values like bending the legal framework to your own advantage (manipulative) and disregarding the rights or concerns of others putting your own self-interests first. Obtaining personal ethics is really to define who you are as a person i.e. one of substance and integrity or self-centered and manipulative. Establishing your ethical framework may be obtained at an early age by becoming involved with social clubs, communities, sporting events etc. It is good to be competitive provided you retain a sense of personal balance and you do not become obsessive about it. Life offers many other facets that are equally rewarding, nurses being an example of people who find a great deal of satisfaction by helping others whilst retaining a healthy ambition to succeed at their job. (Newton, L.H. 2003)
ROLE OF ETHICS IN STRATEGIC PLANNING
It was Peter Druker who addressed the considerations of ethics in strategic planning by framing the question – “first ask what business we are in?” (Schulman, M. 2013). There are three main ethical pillars that impact the formulation of strategic planning:-
∏ What does the business represent?
∏ The purpose of the business?
∏ What values does the business have?
The ethical statement of the business should underpin the mission statement of the business. The stakeholders want to see a business that obeys the rule of law, they want the business to be open and transparent in the way it conducts business and finally for the company to manage its finances in an honest and responsible way so as to protect the interests of investors and shareholders. The stakeholders want to see that the CEO and Board of Directors have a strong moral compass and that this projects downwards into the organization and reflected in the business operations. (Gebler, D. 2013).
PERSONAL ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES
It is fair to say that everybody, leastwise in Western democracies, has both freedom of expression and the right of choice. As such this can be morally bad or good. In theory we are all bound by the law of the land and as such our interpretation and application of these laws will vary according to our own moral standards. If you are an educated person with a relatively affluent upbringing you are more likely to respect and uphold the law. In this case the laws seem much more pertinent to your position and role in life. If you are a poor person with no education and forced to survive in the streets of a City, then your ethics are much likely to be tuned more towards survivalism as opposed to upholding the common law.
In general terms my ethical perspectives have increased in recognising how important this subject is in the efficient management of corporate enterprises.
Gebler, D. (2013, 1 25). Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Retrieved from Free library: http://managementhelp.org/businessethics/index.htm
Newton, L. H. (2003). Ethics in America, 2nd Edition. New York: Prentice Hall.
Schulman, M. (2013, 1 25). Incorporating Ethics into the Organization’s Strategic Plan. Retrieved from Santa Clara University, CA: http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/business/strategic-plan.html