Establishing a strong corporate image is the key for steady growth and success in the industry. One of the best methods of developing a good image is being ethical in all level of operations. This paper examines the effects of ethics in business as well as highlight of the strategies that businesses can adopt to maintain its image or reputation.
In September, 2015, Volkswagen Company was found, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to have installed a software device that enabled the engines of VW vehicles to meet the emission standards in the laboratory. The emission scandal of the German multinational automaker presents a good example of an unethical practice in an organization. The worst part about the unethical practices in an organization is that it causes the organization to incur huge losses as well as take a long time to salvage the tainted image. The company had to undergo costly and extreme measure of recalling over 11 million cars that had been installed with the software device, and also led to the firing of the then CEO, Martin Winterkorn (Klier& Linn 2016).
Ethics are moral principles that guide the everyday activities and behaviors of persons. The Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI) defines business ethics as the corporate policies and principles that govern the organization from various issues in the society such as bribery, discrimination and fiduciary responsibilities. According to the ECI organization, the company should have set of rules that constant revaluation of its operations to ensure that it is operating within the set rules (ECI org 2016).
In order to establish good ethical standards in a company, the management should starts by creating a working environment that allows for equal participation of the employees in the company. This can be achieved by setting rules, regulations and values that defines the policy of the organization. In addition, the organization should have good commutation channels through which employees and other stakeholders can use to report any form of unethical practice in the company (Baron 2003).
According to Snider et al (2003), corporate social responsibility is also an ethical practice as it shows the community that the company is mindful of the various problems affecting the society. Studies shows that entities have engage in various programs to support communities leave a lasting image to the society thus boosting its future success. On other hand, ethical practices are not only limited to organization and the external world but also inside the organization. It is ethical to provide safe working environment and compensation package to the employees. Snider et al (2003) further asserts that unethical practices by an organization are bred inside the organization before they escalate to the external world.
Ethics are moral principles that direct people’s behaviors. In the business environment, ethics is the policies that guide how organization relates with the stakeholders to uphold its reputation. If not well checked, any form of unethical practice can cause huge losses as well as lead to long term damage on the brand of the organization.