How Ethics Can Improve Business Success


Bottorff, Dean L.   (1997, ASQC)   Allegheny Industrial Sales Inc., Pittsburgh, PA

Quality Progress    Vol. 30    No. 2
QICID: 13193    February 1997    pp. 57-60

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Article Abstract

An ethics management model provides the opportunity to increase competitiveness and reduce operational inefficiencies. Ethics is a field of philosophy dealing with principles of behavior. Many managers feel that unethical behavior is a problem and that people can learn to be more ethical. Categories of unethical business behavior include: putting a company's welfare ahead of its customers and employees; accepting an ethical double standard, depending on whether one is at home or at work; and focusing on the short term to the detriment of the long run. Such attitudes reflect ethical concepts such as egoism, Darwinism, and Machiavellianism. To implement an ethics management model, first perform ethics costing. Determine the costs of ethically poor decisions, intentional misbehaviors, and misguided beliefs. Second, develop policies and procedures that prevent pressures, opportunities, and attitudes that lead to unethical behavior. Third, cultivate good ethics via leadership from top management and activities like ethics training. Ethical behavior is a prerequisite to quality and a tool for facing the challenges of diversity, global competition, motivation, and technology.



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