Ethical decision-making is important for businesses. Trust and integrity must not be lost. There are three ethical concerns for the sales organization, which are (1) cheating, (2) misuse of company resources, and (3) inappropriate relationships with other employees.
In fact, losing a customer or client’s trust is fatal stroke for businesses. Famous management expert Stephen Covey suggests that trust is the cornerstone for productivity in the market. Once customers lose faith and trust in an organization, that organization has lost ground in the market.
Employees are motivated by different stimulus. In fact, different employees have different motivations. Motivation produces psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s behavior in an organization. In my technical field, there are few things that are impossible to accomplish; it’s a matter of time versus money.
However, finding these solutions depend on a personal drive. In many organizations, supervisors search for the magical ingredient to improve employee performance so that the organization can be successful. This initiative isn’t easy!
For example, a salesperson might be motivated to earn high commissions at any cost. He knows his management is only concerned with the bottom-line. At the end of the year, his sales manager responses in anger to this salesperson, “You’ve committed the company to something to which we cannot commit.” Therefore, being promoting selfish behavior can cost a business in the long run.
Organizations must train and create a good ethical environment. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, further argue effective managers fully utilize their human resources to gain a competitive advantage. Developing the desired behavior in employees is invaluable.
In many cases, employees exist in a transactional relationship (if you do this, you will get that). For example, a sales representative for Mary Kay will get a pink Cadillac if she reaches the designated sales limit. In fact, business perks are pretty routine.
Most people have an internal compass that allows them to distinguish right from wrong. For example, an employee might be tempted to take a bribe from his company’s competitor. Johnston and Marshall make a clear distinction between a gift and a bribe. A bribe is a financial present given to manipulate the purchase decision.
In an effective ethical system, an employee would not compromise the trust with the company, including any internal customers (supervisor, manufacturing group, etc.).
Finally, there will be numerous situations that test a person’s moral behavior in organizations. Ethical decision making is a way of life. Businesses must create good ethical systems where employees are accountable for their conduct. Trust must be at the center stage of the process.
Discuss your professional experience with making ethical decisions in your industry.
© 2014 by Daryl D. Green