Afford and Bebensee (2010) discuss how properly managing ethics in the workplace can be advantageous to the firm on many different levels. They present ways of managing ethics processes beyond just having ethics codes guidelines. For the purpose of discussion, Afford and Bebensee define ethics as a concept of moral behavior. The article makes a strong point that actions of every employee, not just managers, has an impact on the organization, therefore, if an organization wants to be successful, the ethics of every individual are important. Several large companies around the world were mentioned that experienced enormous problems due to confusing ethical situations and how we can learn from others’ mistakes in the area of workplace ethics.
Afford and Bebensee mention that larger firms have been hiring a dedicated Vice President for Ethics in an attempt to better control the firm’s ethics processes and codes to escape substantial financial penalties resulting from ethics violations. The authors discuss that having strengthened ethics programs in a firm do not just help the firm to avoid financial penalties but increase many desirable areas a firm as well, for example, employee loyalty, theft reduction, higher sales, community involvement, quality employees, and vendor relationships. Afford and Bebensee also mention that ethics are not just for employees but for the assurance of stakeholders as well so that they have increased assurance of the firm’s stability. Ethics management has become recognized as need in many organization and not just rules and codes to conform to laws.
Afford and Bebensee mention there are two main approaches to constructing ethics management programs. The two approaches are an in-house program managed by the firm itself or a contracting out of the program to a firm or consultant that specializes in ethics. One interesting idea the authors proposed is to have college or university students undertake the ethics program supervised by...