Section 9.2
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Section 9.2. Ethical Behavior. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN. Why ethics are important in the workplace How you can behave ethically in the workplace. WHY IT’S IMPORTANT. Your ability to behave ethically in the workplace will enable you to earn the trust and respect of your employers and coworkers.

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Section 9.2

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Section 9 2

Section 9.2

Ethical Behavior


Section 9 2

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • Why ethics are important in the workplace

  • How you can behave ethically in the workplace


Section 9 2

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

Your ability to behave ethically in the workplace will enable you to earn the trust and respect of your employers and coworkers.


Section 9 2

KEY TERMS

  • ethics

  • confidentiality

  • prejudice


Section 9 2

Ethical Behavior

Ethics are the principles of conduct that govern a group or society; the values that help people decide what is right and what is wrong.

Some companies have programs to promote ethics.


Section 9 2

Honesty

Employers expect their employees to be honest.

Dishonesty is the cause of most ethical problems in the workplace.


Section 9 2

Honesty

One lie can destroy your reputation.

An honest worker has a much better chance of being successful in a career.


Section 9 2

Honesty About Time

One way to demonstrate honesty is to be truthful in reporting your work hours.

What might be the consequence if employees are dishonest about the time they work?


Section 9 2

Honesty About Money

Taking money out of the cash drawer is clearly dishonest.

What about altering a taxi receipt to increase your reimbursable expenses—

is this dishonest?


Section 9 2

Honesty

Think about how your actions might appear to others.

Remember that dishonesty becomes easier with practice, so it is better not to start.


Section 9 2

Respecting Employers’ Property

Don’t illegally copy company software for personal use.

Don’t take office supplies home.


Section 9 2

Respecting Employers’ Property

If your supervisor knows you are stealing stamps, will he or she put you in charge of more costly items?


Section 9 2

Interacting with Others

Interactions with others may also involve ethical issues.


Section 9 2

Confidentiality

Confidentiality means keeping secrets from people who are not supposed to know them.

Your company, coworkers, friends, and family will expect you to observe confidentiality.


Section 9 2

Confidentiality

On the surface, confidentiality seems easy.

Sometimes, though, there are conflicting interests.

Consider the following dilemma.

continued


Section 9 2

ETHICSin Action

Sharing Secrets

You recently stared working at a new software company. Your new supervisor wants you to tell her everything you know about a secret program that you were working on at your old company.

continued


Section 9 2

ETHICSin Action

Sharing Secrets

You never signed a confidentiality agreement, but you know that the program will be a great accomplishment for your former company once it is released. Your supervisor tells you that you will receive a large bonus and a promotion if you tell her about the program.

continued


Section 9 2

ETHICSin Action

Sharing Secrets

THINK ABOUT IT

Would you tell her about the program? Why or why not?


Section 9 2

Fairness

Virtually every business includes men and women of different races, cultural backgrounds, and religions.

Treat everyone fairly, openly, and honestly.


Section 9 2

Fairness

Prejudice is an unjustifiable negative attitude toward a person or group.


Section 9 2

Fairness

Prejudice can express itself as:

  • racist or sexist comments,

  • stereotyping,

  • name calling, and

  • unfair generalizations.


Section 9 2

Fairness

Prejudice in any form is hurtful, offensive, and unacceptable.

Employees can be fired for practicing prejudice, and companies can be sued.


Section 9 2

Graphic Organizer

9.2

Ethical Behavior

Ethical

Behavior

Maintain

Confidentiality

Be

Honest

Reject

Prejudice

Respect

Privacy

+

+

+

=

Chapter 9 • Workplace Ethics

Succeeding in the World of Work


Section 9 2

Handling Unethical Practices

If you experience or observe prejudice in the workplace, consider whether it was an isolated incident.

If the offense is deliberate, don’t ignore it, but don’t act rashly either.


Section 9 2

Handling Unethical Practices

If you’re dealing with a customer, simply walk away and report the incident to your supervisor.

If you’re dealing with a coworker, you might tell him or her you will not tolerate his or her prejudiced behavior.


Section 9 2

Handling Unethical Practices

If that does not work, talk to your supervisor about your coworker’s offensive behavior.

Look for solutions, not revenge.


Section 9 2

Handling Unethical Practices

If your employer is unethical and you decide to take action, these pointers may help:

  • Keep a detailed written record.

  • Check your observations with others.

  • Get advice from people you trust.

continued


Section 9 2

Handling Unethical Practices

  • Check your motives. Are you acting for the right reasons?

  • Collect any evidence you can.

  • Decide whether you want to remain anonymous or speak up openly.

  • Report only facts or observations. Don’t exaggerate or speculate.


Section 9 2

CAREER CHECKLIST

When Faced With Ethical Decisions in the Workplace…

Never compromise your own values.

Do not engage in activities that leave you uncomfortable.

Develop and maintain integrity.

Respect the values of your coworkers and people you interact with on the job.

Avoid gossip and rumors.

continued


Section 9 2

CAREER CHECKLIST

When Faced With Ethical Decisions in the Workplace…

Speak with your boss or a trusted supervisor if you are faced with an ethical problem.

continued


Section 9 2

CAREER CHECKLIST

When Faced With Ethical Decisions in the Workplace…

Remember that you are held accountable for your actions, including letters and e-mail—don’t say or do anything that you would not like to be known to the public.

Find a new job if your company’s ethics don’t match your own.


Section 9 2

SECTION 9.2 REVIEW

Key Concept Checkpoint

Comprehension

Imagine that you’ve observed a coworker lying to a customer. How might this unethical behavior affect you?

continued


Section 9 2

SECTION 9.2 REVIEW

Key Concept Checkpoint

Comprehension

Of the different kinds of ethical behavior, which do you think will be your biggest challenge? Why?

continued


Section 9 2

SECTION 9.2 REVIEW

Key Concept Checkpoint

Critical Thinking

Are you born with a set of ethics, or do you acquire ethical beliefs and attitudes through experience?


Section 9 2

End of Section 9.2

Ethical Behavior


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