Ethics is a branch of philosophy, the object of study of which is morality. The study of ethics lays the foundations for a person’s intelligence, nobility, decency, and good manners. Unethical behavior in the workplace is a violation of generally accepted moral and ethical standards (Wheeler, 2017). It negatively affects the relationship in the team and creates emotional tension. In the reviewed case, the awarding of the contract by a new mayor is not ethically correct since this act certainly contradicts the moral ethics of honestly conducting politics and business.
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The reasons for unethical behavior of people can be different. In this case, too much emphasis on profit and the achievement of personal benefit has led to unethical actions in which the end justifies the means (Wheeler, 2017). Kathy made political contributions to the mayor’s campaign to be awarded a contract for the purchase of office equipment to her company. Both the mayor and Kathy pursued their own mercantile goals. As a result of irresponsible actions, the reputation of the company or a politician could be damaged.
Legal standards are not always the same as ethical standards. Ethical norms used in the business community are an established system of norms of behavior that is not based on legislation (Wheeler, 2017). They form positive expectations regarding the behavior of participants in corporate relations. In this case, neither manager’s nor the mayor’s actions are illegal, but according to ethical standards, Kathy should not have used her position to determine what is ethically right or wrong. When corruption gets publicized, it generates mistrust of government institutions and undermines the moral foundations of society.
It is important to a corporation to be seen as ethical by consumers of its products. The use of the norms and rules of business ethics is perceived by others in any case, even if the person does not have sufficiently developed skills in applying the rules of ethics. The perceptual effect is amplified many times over if ethical behavior becomes natural and unintended. This happens when the rules of ethics are an internal psychological need of a person and are also worked out in the process of systematic training.
Wheeler, S. (2007). Ethics in the workplace. Law and Critique, 18(1), 1-28.