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Advanced Technical Writing Lecture 15 Presentation on Ethics in Business and Society 13/7/2008. Ethics: What’s the Fuss?. What Is Ethics?. A few years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people, "What does ethics mean to you?" Among their replies were the following:

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Advanced Technical Writing

Lecture 15

Presentation on Ethics in Business and Society

13/7/2008

Dr. Basil Hamed

slide2

Ethics:

What’s the Fuss?

Dr. Basil Hamed

what is ethics
What Is Ethics?

A few years ago, sociologist Raymond Baumhart asked business people, "What does ethics mean to you?" Among their replies were the following:

"Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.""Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.""Being ethical is doing what the law requires.""Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.""I don't know what the word means

Dr. Basil Hamed

what is ethics4
What Is Ethics?

In order to understand what ethics is, and what it might look like, it's important to distinguish the difference between ethics and values .

Ethics is about the way we treat one another and is an action concept that dictates how we choose to live our lives. The ultimate true test of our character is when we are willing to do the right thing even when it is not in our best interest to do so.

Dr. Basil Hamed

values
VALUES

Refers to our core beliefs or desires , the things we value the most. Our values shape our attitudes and determines how we will behavein certain situations.

Dr. Basil Hamed

ethical values vs non ethical values
Ethical Values Vs. Non-Ethical Values

Ethical Values directly relate to our beliefs concerning our moral duty as opposed to what is correct, effective, or desirable. These are the values that drive our principles.

Non-Ethical Values are concerned with things that we like or find personally satisfying and/or important, with no regard to the moral content.

Dr. Basil Hamed

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When evaluating one’s goals and objectives, a vital question must be asked: What is your highest aspiration?

A. Wealth

B. Fame

C. Knowledge

D. Popularity

E. Integrity

Dr. Basil Hamed

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If integrity is second to any of the alternatives, then it is subject to sacrifice in situations where a choice must be made. Such situations will inevitably occur in every person’s life.

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Why talk about ethics?

Why talk about ethics? In the aftermath of major corporate failures and questionable accounting practices, American Accounting Association President G. Peter Wilson said that in the classroom, educators need to increasingly emphasize the value of integrity, what has long been a mainstay of accountants’ reputation

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Wellllll….

  • How about…
    • Being a little late to work occasionally?
    • Surfing the Web when you run out of things to do?
    • Downloading some music to your computer?
    • Installing software that isn’t approved by the company?
    • Forgetting to handle a couple of tasks you were given?
    • Getting stuck on a problem but not asking for help?

Dr. Basil Hamed

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There are lots of things that might seem “OK” with a casual glance but which can actually be “Not OK” for the employer.

The secret to not getting on the wrong side of your boss is to have a proactive attitude to your job. Even a job that isn’t everything you want.

Dr. Basil Hamed

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How do you handle a problem?

    • Be thoughtful about your activities and you probably won’t have a problem, but if you should make a mistake…
    • Be HONEST; let your supervisor know in a timely way so he/she isn’t taken by surprise.
    • ANALYZE the problem; why did it happen, what will prevent it from happening again?
    • CORRECT the problem as quickly and completely as possible. Don’t sweep it under the rug.

Dr. Basil Hamed

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In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Psychology professor Steven Davis says that cheating by high school students has increased from about 20 percent in the 1940’s to 75 percent today.

“Students say cheating in high school is for grades, cheating in college is for a career.”

Dr. Basil Hamed

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If students lack ethics in high school and college, then there should be little surprise that they lack ethics in their careers. Greed and over-reaching ambition often end in disastrous personal consequences. Convicted inside trader, Dennis Levine, in a Fortune magazine article wrote:

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Many institutions of higher education have instituted policies regarding ethics education. For example, the Faculty Handbook of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University includes the following statement:

“Therefore, faculty and staff have a responsibility for creating an academic environment that promotes honest academic inquiry and teaches students ethical behavior in the process.”

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Educational Institutions have established ethics codes for their students, e.g. the U.S. Air Force Academy:

"We Will Not Lie, Steal Or Cheat, Nor

Tolerate Among Us Anyone Who Does"

-- Which do you think is the harder part:

Line 1 or Line 2? Why?

Dr. Basil Hamed

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What do profs think?

In a survey of college faculty, 187 professors responded to several statements about teaching ethics:

1. The importance of ethics and personal integrity should be stressed in the courses I teach. 4.75

2. The basis for ethics and personal

integrity should be discussed (e.g.

benefit to society as a whole, moral and

religious foundations of society, etc.) 4.11

Note: Scores are based on a scale from 1: Strongly Agree to 5: Strongly Disagree

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Can ethics be taught? Teddy Roosevelt said, “To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

Dr. Basil Hamed

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“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Thomas Jefferson

Dr. Basil Hamed

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In an issue of Management Accounting, James Brackner stated: The universities are responding with an increased emphasis on ethical training for decision making. For the most part, however, they ignore the teaching of values. For moral or ethical education to have meaning there must be agreement on the values that are considered “right.”

Dr. Basil Hamed

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Be sure you are right, then go ahead.

Davy Crockett

1786-1836

Dr. Basil Hamed

slide22

Michael Josephson, in Chapter 1 of Ethical Issues in the Practice of Accounting, describes the “Ten Universal Values: “Honesty, integrity, promise keeping, fidelity, fairness, caring, respect for others, responsible citizenship, pursuit of excellence, and accountability.”

Dr. Basil Hamed

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“Until about 50 years ago, it was commonly accepted that universities were to provide students not only with knowledge and skills, but also moral guidance based on the essentials of the our tradition.”

Business Prof Geoffrey Lantos

Dr. Basil Hamed

slide25

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.

Japanese proverb

Dr. Basil Hamed