Some people feel that ethics only has to do with the individual who does wrongdoing and has nothing to do with the organization beliefs of a company as a whole. This has been found to be completely false and these ethical wrongdoings reflect the core values of an organization and can be influenced strongly by management.
Two specific examples of corporate wrongdoings involve Sears automotive and Beach-nut Nutrition. In both cases, the companies lacked a system that encouraged honesty and fair dealings. Management at these companies encouraged their employees to ignore their own moral attitudes and to adopt the attitudes the firm felt would best help their bottom line. This is why it is important not to place the blame on one person’s actions but to focus on the company’s philosophies of what is right and wrong. Sears, and Beach-Nut are just two examples of companies that instilled the values of unfair dealing in their employees but this is really a widespread problem in a very competitive capitalistic society.
I have worked part-time in restaurants through college and I can reflect first hand why employees are often trained to do what is in the interest of the company and not necessarily to do what they believe would be best for the customer. The primary function of any business is to make money; this is the motivating force that drives many decisions.
For example, if a cook drops a piece of filet mignon on the floor and continues to cook it and then serve it, he is not doing this because he feels it is fair to the customer. He is doing this because he knows that it is the profitable thing to do. Even though the cook acted alone with his decision not to throw it away, it wasn’t a personal decision but a company decision. For this reason it is important for employees in a company to know where the firm stands morally. Often times these things aren’t discussed but transferred through leadership leading by example. If the company is comprised with leaders who have a strong moral and ethical make-up this will be reflected into their employees make-up. A company needs to have a shared belief in right action.
The only way to have an organization with genetic characteristics of high moral standing is to start at the top. Managers have to let their beliefs be known and lead by example. Many benefits can be derived from an organization that instills high morality. A company operating morally also will have employees with high moral that can feel good about themselves with the work they are doing. This trade off between having employees do the right thing and saving a few dollars is easily offset by the increased productivity employees will have when they can feel good about what they do.