Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)


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This Briefing is the second in the mini-series related to issues of fairness in the workplace. This Briefing highlights the findings of a number of global, UK and US surveys on a business ethics theme which were published in The headline findings reveal that firstly, globally the levels of trust in business fell in and secondly, most companies have taken steps to combat bribery and corruption. However, it appears that whistleblowing is not being given a high priority. And in the US, observed misconduct within organisations is at the lowest level ever recorded, and the relationship between the ethics and compliance department and the Board of Directors is strong.

Listen to Simon Webley talk about the findings in this webinar recording. In , stories related to 29 different business ethics issues. How can you ensure that your office party is in line with ethical values, without ruining the fun? This Briefing considers some of the ethical issues which can arise in these situations. This infographic shows the overall view of the British public for Performance management has a major influence on how employees perceive the company they work for and on how they behave.

This Good Practice Guide considers how organisations develop performance management processes which measure how business is done as well as what is achieved. Drawing on interviews and surveys with IBE subscriber companies and other organisations, the Guide suggests how to address the challenges that may be faced when integrating company values and ethical behaviour into performance management. It will be useful to anyone involved in changing the culture of their organisation - from professionals in the human resources and ethics and compliance functions to senior management.

This report looks at twelve key questions which pension fund trustees need to ask to help guide them in making sound decisions.

Business Ethics Publications

It looks at the ethical challenges facing pension fund trustees - ranging from fiduciary duty, investment decisions and conflicts of interest to employing consultants. It offers answers that, by applying an ethical approach, aim to cut through the uncertainty and help trustees make the right decisions. How do Ethics and Compliance practitioners work effectively to promote ethical conduct inside their organisations? This report provides refreshing insights into the purpose and activities of this relatively new role.

This Briefing looks at modern slavery in the context of business and business ethics. It looks at the ethical approach which companies can take, and how, by working in partnership with suppliers, a track record of ethical procurement can encourage investment in a company and improve employee morale.

The challenge for business is how to develop and embed real values. This requires leadership and is a core task for boards. Many boards acknowledge the importance of a healthy corporate culture, both because of the role this plays in mitigating risk and because of the value to their franchise of a sound reputation.

It aims to help directors define their contribution to the maintenance of sound values and culture. In ensuring fairness, it is also important that all employees feel they are justly rewarded for the work they do.

Common Ethical Workplace Dilemmas

This Briefing looks at how fairness can be achieved in the specific areas of executive remuneration and paying a living wage. It also briefly addresses some additional pay issues, and provides examples of ways in which some companies are addressing the issue of fairness in pay. The growth of narrative, sustainability and integrated reporting has created a space in which business ethics is being reported in external company reports. This Briefing looks at how these three initiatives have facilitated the reporting of business ethics, what organisations are saying about how they conduct their business and areas in which more information could be reported.

This report revisits the Interfaith Declaration: A Code of Ethics on International Business Ethics for Christians, Muslims and Jews in light of recent international standards and significant global economic changes, and it describes how multinational corporations seek to apply ethical values in their relations with their stakeholders.

By setting out some of the challenges in working across cultures, this report aims to assist corporate directors to consider the basis of trust for long-term commercial relationships wherever they operate in the world. It is important therefore that they work together effectively. This Briefing looks at the ways in which the two departments can collaborate and uses interviews with IBE subscriber companies to identify best practice.


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This Briefing considers aspects of unethical treatment of customers, their consequences, regulatory responses and the steps some organisations are taking to address this issue. Companies which take ethics seriously will ensure that their ethical values are reflected in the relationships they have with their customers. However, according to IBE analysis , in treatment of stakeholders was the second most commonly reported business ethics issue in the British media and customers were the most mistreated stakeholder group, as judged by the number of stories reported.

This Briefing looks at the findings of selected UK, Global and US surveys on a business ethics theme published in the last year. Surveys on trust, leadership, ethics in the workplace and generational differences are among those summarised in this useful document. This 2nd edition of the Principles have been developed by a group of leading energy and mining companies and draw on their considerable experience of managing potential bribery and corruption.

They represent a sharing of best practice and are intended to provide assistance to organisations operating in these areas on the key issues to consider as they seek to prevent bribery in their organisations. The analysis is based on over stories for each year involving UK companies and multinationals with a UK presence. Of the 26 business ethics issues recorded, the most commonly reported issue was bribery, corruption and facilitation payments, closely followed by treatment of stakeholders, of which there was a relatively even split across customers and staff.

Provide Resources and Education

There were also some stories related to the treatment of suppliers. The focus is on lapses by sector and then on the ethical issues and stakeholders concerned. How do companies use and implement their code of ethics and their ethics programme? The survey also shows an improvement in the proportion that think business is behaving ethically since , bringing it back in line with figures; meanwhile there has been a rise in the proportion saying businesses are behaving less ethically than in This refers to the situation that occurs when organisations exert power over their smaller suppliers and either pay late, change payment terms or demand unreasonably long payment terms from the outset.

This is what makes such behaviour an ethical matter. This Briefing explores the three issues involving supplier payments. It then looks at governmental attempts to curb the problems and how companies are addressing the issue. Which are the most important? What are they for? And what are their limitations? This paper explores the extent to which, in legislation, frameworks and codes for corporate governance across the EU and within its member states, there are explicit statements or requirements for business to be governed in line with ethical principles or commitments.

This report will be relevant to those interested in the evolving debate around culture and behaviour in business, and those concerned with the development of corporate governance and responsible business practice. Employee Views of Ethics at Work: The continental Europe Survey data also allowed for indicative comparisons with the results of the British Ethics at Work Survey to be drawn. This Briefing considers some of the ethical issues around the giving and accepting of corporate gifts and hospitality and outlines good practice.

The results of an annual survey conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics on the attitudes of the British public to business ethics are published in this briefing. Scenario-based training brings to life ethical dilemmas for employees and helps to embed ethical values into company culture and behaviour. This practical guide provides advice on developing and choosing different types of scenarios and facilitating scenario-based training. As well as corporate case studies, the guide includes over 15 IBE scenarios relating to different stakeholder groups with questions to prompt discussion.

This Briefing explores the link between business ethics and human rights with a brief overview of the current business and human rights landscape.

Trends such as globalisation and the increasing presence of multinational corporations, pressures from NGOs, and reputation risk management, has meant there are increasing expectations of business in respecting human rights. The Briefing explores how companies are responding to this and the mechanisms they are using to express commitment and avoid human rights violations. Doing Business in China: This Briefing explores how companies use such certification statements as a part of their ethics programme, using the results of an IBE survey.

These six case studies describe and analyse the experience and response of companies that have faced a trust failure. These cases demonstrate how the companies — Siemens, Mattel, Toyota, BAE Systems, and Severn Trent — have successfully repaired the loss of trust and provide insight into the process involved. This Briefing aims to raise awareness of the ethical challenges social media presents for companies and considers good practice in providing guidance for employees on its use, whether for business or personal use.

This Briefing examines some business ethics issues and the challenges of achieving a diverse board. It presents the relationship between business ethics and board diversity; the current global context of board diversity and the case for board diversity. Using good practice examples it shows to achieve a diverse board. Doing Business in South Africa: This Paper offers a synopsis of the business ethics climate in South Africa, and will be useful to companies operating in or considering entering the South African market, and to individuals doing business there.

The Paper explores the operating environment for business and considers the cultural characteristics which underpin this. It also looks at current business ethics and corporate responsibility trends in the country and identifies the key ethical challenges facing businesses operating in South Africa.

Understanding and managing trust is a critical competency for organisations that take their ethical values seriously. Organisations need to know how trust is won, developed and sustained, and also what to do when that trust is threatened or has broken down. This Report helps organisations understand what trust is and how it is established at the interpersonal and organisational level.

It outlines strategies for building and sustaining a resilient reputation for organisational trustworthiness and, through the use of case studies, illustrates good and poor practice in repairing internal trust after an organisational failure. Download The Recovery of Trust: Six case studies of organisational failures and successful trust repair for detailed case studies. Drawing on experiences of UK and international companies, Ethics in Decision-making provides a framework for understanding the key conditions for and barriers to bringing ethics into business decision-making. This Guide will help organisations embed ethical considerations through all their decision-making processes.

It includes examples of how companies facilitate and promote this for employees, managers and senior leaders. This IBE Paper explores situations where religious beliefs and practices impact the day-to-day operations of organisations and reviews the ethical issues which can arise. It describes how religious sensibilities are being accommodated by employers and includes a short guide to good practice.

This Briefing examines some business ethics issues affecting the sports sector. The sector is a multi-billion pound global industry that comprises a variety of professional sports practice and sports businesses such as merchandise retailers, suppliers of kit and equipment, gambling, professional sports clubs and governing bodies for sports. Issues such as the supply chain; bribery and corruption; pay differentials; sponsorship and marketing; social impact; health and wellbeing of players and discrimination are explored.

This Briefing outlines the findings of surveys conducted and published in on business ethics issues. The Briefing highlights the key results, with some brief discussion. The findings from this year's surveys show a dramatic change in public attitudes towards ethics in business. This report reveals the findings of the sixth IBE triennial survey on corporate codes and ethics programmes. For the first time, large companies in France, Germany, Italy and Spain were also surveyed. The survey details trends and current practice in the ways in which UK and European companies embed, monitor and report their ethics codes and programmes.

Two case studies demonstrate how a company code is reviewed in organisations and the role committees can take in effectively monitoring the ethics programme. This Briefing provides practical guidance on how to recruit individuals which 'fit' with your organisation's ethical culture and values. It covers issues such as ethics profiling, pre-screening of applicants, the use of ethical dilemmas in interviews and identifying applicants' knowledge, experience and sensitivity of ethics and ethical values.

Ethics Ambassadors Ruth N.

This practical Guide explains the role of Ethics Ambassadors in contributing to the success of an ethics programme and helping to promote a consistent ethical business culture. Drawing on the experience of UK and international companies it highlights how the role of an ethics ambassador can help organisations understand what ethics ambassadors are and how they can be recruited and supported effectively. The guide includes a set of practical tools for training and evaluating the efficacy of ethics ambassadors. Doing Business in South Korea: This report provides a synopsis of the business ethics climate in South Korea.

It will be useful to companies operating in or considering entering the South Korean market. It explores the cultural factors influencing business ethics in South Korea, the salient business ethics challenges that companies face and current trends in business ethics and corporate responsibility. This Briefing provides an analysis of the major ethical concerns and lapses involving UK companies, or multinationals with a UK presence, as reported in the media in This Briefing explores the ethical aspects of managing corporate-third sector partnerships and provides practical guidance on navigating the challenges.

Every year, the IBE asks a representative sample of British adults about their views of ethics in business. This Briefing examines the ethical challenges that can arise in corporate expense systems and provides guidance on how to strengthen the process. It outlines 6 attributes of an effective incentives scheme. What do British employees consider to be the standard of ethical conduct in their workplace? The report also suggests which employees are likely to have higher ethical standards.

Based on interviews with intelligence professionals, this report identifies good practices for firms involved in providing, contracting, and accessing Competitive Intelligence CI , as well as those seeking to guard against CI breaches in their own businesses. This research suggests developing clear ethical guidelines for CI and extending them to business partners and back up policies with targeted training to those most at risk, regularly reviewing competitive intelligence practices and guidelines for all departments where CI is an issue.

This Briefing provides an analysis of moral concerns and allegations of malpractice involving UK corporations covered in the broadsheet media in Use of Codes of Ethics in Business: This Briefing explores what business ethics means for small to medium-sized business enterprises and how they can introduce and support high standards of business practice. Does Business Ethics Pay? How do organisations govern their ethical standards? This Briefing considers the terms of reference and good practice for a board committee with ultimate responsibility for ethical values and business conduct.

Cultural fit and ethical compatibility are increasingly recognised as important elements of successful business relationships, from joint ventures to mergers and acquisitions. In this report a systematic framework for identifying integrity risk is suggested to encourage organisations to employ Ethical Due Diligence EDD alongside financial and legal due diligence. Based on interviews with companies and experts, this report describes the process of EDD and uses case studies to show how it is being applied and deployed to support business decisions.

This Briefing looks at the findings of selected ethics surveys published in and the beginning of Living Up To Our Values: How can boards be confident that their organisation is living up to its ethical values and commitments? It is addressed to those at board level overseeing assurance that ethical values are embedded, that commitments are being met and management processes are effective.

It will assist assurance professionals seeking to broaden their understanding of non-financial issues and is intended as an aid to the development of good practice. Making Business Ethics Work: This report examines why is there an apparent failure by many businesses to incorporate ethical values into the day-to-day decisions of employees and what can be done to ensure ethics policies and codes lead to higher standards of business behaviour. Drawing on the experience of UK companies, recent surveys and research, this report offers practical suggestions for improving the efficacy of ethical programmes and will be valuable to organisations wanting to overcome the barriers to implementing an effective ethics policy.

Supplier Relationships in the UK: This report examines the complexities of supplier relationships and ethical procurement practice in the UK. It explores how companies can achieve fair relations with their suppliers and particularly considers issues raised in relationships between large organisations and small and medium sized suppliers. Three case studies, from Camelot, Waitrose and Toyota, help draw out the issues and good practice approaches.

What Are the Major Ethical Issues Business People Face?

Guidance on good practice is offered for suppliers and customers alike. This Briefing presents a synopsis of the findings of selected surveys of public and. It shows how full-time staff and management regard their own behaviour and that of their colleagues. It presents the views of workers on the support they are given in 'doing the right thing' at work, suggests which employees are likely to be 'the most ethical' and demonstrates to all employers, the benefit of surveying their staff on ethical issues and conduct, and the need for clearer ethical guidance.

The Ethics of Influence: This report analyses current corporate approaches to the challenges in this increasingly controversial area and sets out the pressures on companies to seek political influence. It offers guidance to business on good practice and is drawn from interviews with senior business people in the UK, US and Europe. This is a practical guide designed to help UK universities and colleges address ethical issues across their organisations. This document sets out to raise questions, encourage debate and make suggestions on how higher education institutions might develop their own approach to ethical matters.

Leadership is essential to business ethics, as ethical qualities are essential to good leadership. This report demonstrates that business leaders should consider ethical competence as a core part of their business acumen and provides guidance to those wishing to build a culture of trust and accountability and strengthen the ethical aspirations of their organisation.

It includes interviews with business leaders offering practical insights into ethical leadership issues.

Introduce a Policy

Corporate Use of Codes of Ethics: It shows the ways in which companies seek to maximise the effectiveness of their codes; trends in the rationale for codes; the ethical issues perceived as most important for business. The report, including two practical business case studies, provides a guide to managers wishing to understand current practice and mechanisms for implementing and embedding codes of ethics.

Many companies are now grappling with the complexities of ethical supply chain management. How much progress is being made and is life improving for workers?

Workplace Ethics

This report assesses the way companies are developing ethical trading practices and explores the issues of ethical supply chain management. It looks at emerging best practice and highlights case study examples from a range of companies and countries. This report provides companies with practical guidance on how to tackle the ethical management of their supply chain. This publication reviews the plethora of social and ethical reporting standards on offer to companies. It sets out the benefits and costs of the major standards and provides companies with a means of assessing and choosing them.

The emphasis is on providing a practical guide of tools, checklists and experience to enable companies to choose the standard that suits them best. Latest Publications Culture Indicators: My Basket There are no items in your basket. What pressures are they under to compromise ethical standards?

What pressures are Australian employees under to compromise ethical standards? What pressures are Portuguese employees under to compromise ethical standards? The IBE has asked similar questions of the British workforce since But tax avoidance and executive pay remain the top issues business needs to address. Corporate tax avoidance remains the top public concern about business behaviour for Just because the supply room is well stocked with boxes of everyone's favorite pens doesn't mean it's okay for employees to help themselves to a pack for home.

It may seem like a small thing, but when every employee takes something, it does add up against company profits. It is stealing, and an astute office manager will notice things going missing too fast. Falling profits affect everyone in the company, even future raises, bonuses or layoffs. Regardless how small, taking something without paying for it is unethical. Many unethical workplace behaviors can be stopped early on or before they start by employers letting the staff know what the company considers to be unethical.

Someone who takes home a few pens may not think of that as stealing until it's pointed out to them. Many people don't realize their attempts at humor could be offensive to others, or that hopping on the internet is an abuse of company time because "everyone does it. It's not enough to put it in the company handbook. Even supplying copies to everyone assumes they will read it cover to cover. At minimum, employers should send a memo marked "Important" to everyone spelling out common practices that the company considers unethical as well as the possible consequences for them. Ask each employee to send a reply email saying they received and read the memo.

Better still, schedule a mandatory mini-training session where everyone hears the news, word for word. Take attendance, and record the session for those who were absent or anyone who wants to review the information at any time. Don Rafner has been writing professionally since , with work published in "The Washington Post," "Chicago Tribune," "Phoenix Magazine" and several trade magazines. He is also the managing editor of "Midwest Real Estate News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Illinois. Skip to main content. Conducting Personal Business on Company Time Because employees tend to spend so much of their weekday hours on the job, they often are tempted to conduct personal business on company time.

Taking Credit for Others' Work Employees often work in teams to create marketing campaigns, develop new products or fine-tune services, yet rarely does everyone in a group contribute equally to the final product. Harassing Behavior Employees often don't know what to do if they see one of their co-workers harassing another employee, either mentally, sexually or physically.

Stealing on the Job We all know embezzling from the company -- taking money and hiding it by altering the records -- is against the law. Proactive Employers Many unethical workplace behaviors can be stopped early on or before they start by employers letting the staff know what the company considers to be unethical. References 2 Philadelphia Business Journal: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Common Ethical Workplace Dilemmas. Small Business - Chron. Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics) Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)
Ethics at Work (Issues in Business Ethics)

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