Code of Ethics

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

Course

Instructor’s Name

Date

Author Note

Personal Code of Ethics versus Organizational Ethics

Personal ethics are philosophical concepts that shape a person’s morality or perception regarding what is right or wrong. Such ethics usually act as guidelines for an individual’s life, work, and interaction with other people. Some personal ethics concepts are shared among many people, but their level of importance varies from one person to another. Such unique differences explain why some individuals think that personal would clash with organisational ethics. In contrast, others believe that personal ethics should match with corporate ethics to be applied at work. Some personal beliefs and code of ethics are applicable in a work environment while others are not; it takes organisational ethics to set standards that re-shapes our personal values that do not conform with work requirements.

Firstly, honesty is my core personal ethics that guides my everyday life. I believe in truthfulness and sincerity, but I discredit cheating, stealing, and other dishonesty behaviours. In most cases, individuals transfer honesty from their personal ethics to their professional life. Honesty ensures that individuals stay truthful and sincere in all situations regardless of the prevailing temptations (Wells & Molina, 2017). This conforms to organisational ethics, which uphold integrity by requiring employees to remain transparent and honest. Being honest and trustworthy is a crucial organisational ethic that prevents employees from accepting bribes, making false claims intentionally, forging details or falsifying data (Gotterbarn et al. 2018). However, a clash between personal believes and organisational ethics might appear when the person embraces dishonesty. It would violate the organisational code of conduct. Personally, my honesty behaviour is in line with administrative integrity requirements because I cannot accept bribes, cheat, or fabricate data for personal benefit since this would compromise my personal ethics.

Secondly, my decisions in life are governed by fairness because I believe in fairness and justice. I treat and respect all people equally without discrimination or favouritism regardless.  In most cases, organisational ethics require employees to embrace fairness in all their dealings and decisions. It upholds equality and fairness but discourages discrimination based on family status, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, age, race, and other affiliations (Gotterbarn et al. 2018). Such requirements conform to the social justice ethical principle, which requires individuals to embrace fairness and equity when providing services to the public or clients (Gümüş, Arar, & Oplatka, 2021). It discourages behaviours that oppress or disenfranchise people through discrimination. Likewise, I embrace a strong sense of fairness, which makes me perfectly fit in the organisation where I work. Fairness is a core part of the organisation’s values and culture.

Thirdly, I strongly embrace beneficence and nonmaleficence as my personal ethics. I uphold beneficence am concerned with other people’s safety and well-being, which compels me to promote good in whatever I do (Cohen, 2019), and I also avoid causing any harm to people intentionally.  Such values align with organisational ethics, which require employees to avoid causing unjustified mental and physical injuries, disclose information, damage reputation, or harass other people intentionally (Gotterbarn et al. 2018). As an ethical employee, I prioritise other people’s wellbeing and safety, including my clients. I do not support or engage in physical assault or any form of harassment at work because I value my personal and organisational ethics. Likewise, I try as much as possible to advise people and my clients on how to avoid potential risks. Therefore, my personal ethics integrate perfectly with organisational ethics.

Fourthly, I respect personal autonomy and privacy. I respect other people’s opinions, decision, values, and world view even if they do not align with mine. Also, I acknowledge and respect individual’s privacy rights. However, organisational ethics support respect for privacy rights but do not guarantee an individual’s autonomy. Confidentiality of the information regarding employees and clients is paramount in almost all organisations. Employees cannot disclose private information to a third party without the owners’ consent (Shenoy & Appel, 2017). However, organisational ethics do not conform to my respect for individual’s autonomy because people have different views, values, and opinions which can negatively affect organisational performance if left to prevail (Cohen, 2019). For instance, an organisation cannot give individuals freedom to choose whether to work or not to work. It also prevents individuals from prioritising personal interests at work which might compromise organisational goals and business interests.

Notably, personal ethics and believes are applicable at work when they are congruent with organisational ethics. For instance, personal values such as honesty, fairness and justice, integrity, respect, beneficence and maleficence can perfectly be applied at work because they conform to various organisational values and ethics. However, personal ethics might class with organisational ethics if a person’s beliefs and morality are incongruent with the company ethics or values (Elango et al. 2010). Both the company and the employee will have different missions and visions because they embody different ethical values and concepts. It is the work of the company leadership to select individuals whose personal values align with organisational ethics, or mold and equip the existing employees with organisational values. Al Halbusi et al. (2020) noted that organisational ethics is usually shaped by leadership and ethical climate which shapes employee’s behavior to fit that of the company.

In conclusion, I strongly embrace honesty, fairness, nonmaleficence, benevolence, autonomy, and respect to privacy. This proves that our personal ethics can be applied at work effectively. Most of my personal ethical values align with organisational ethics except respect to individual autonomy which can be compromised in some situations. As much, I should let individuals act in their own interests, I should limit them to ensure they do not interfere with organisational goals or my personal ethics. Therefore, organisations and leaders should create a culture and ethical climate that can transform employees’ and equip them with ethical values that match that of the company they are working for. This minimises the conflict of interests between individuals and the organisations. All in all, a great deal of our personal ethics are applicable at work.

References

Al Halbusi, H., Williams, K. A., Ramayah, T., Aldieri, L., & Vinci, C. P. (2020). Linking ethical

leadership and ethical climate to employees’ ethical behavior: the moderating role of person–organisation fit. Personnel Review.

Cohen, S. (2019). The logic of the interaction between beneficence and respect for

autonomy. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy22(2), 297-304.

Gümüş, S., Arar, K., & Oplatka, I. (2021). Review of international research on school leadership

for social justice, equity and diversity. Journal of Educational Administration and History53(1), 81-99.

Elango, B., Paul, K., Kundu, S. K., & Paudel, S. K. (2010). Organisational ethics, individual

ethics, and ethical intentions in international decision-making. Journal of Business Ethics97(4), 543-561.

Gotterbarn, D. W., Brinkman, B., Flick, C., Kirkpatrick, M. S., Miller, K., Vazansky, K., &

Wolf, M. J. (2018). Acm code of ethics and professional conduct. ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. https://dora.dmu.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/2086/16422/acm-code-of-ethics-and-professional-conduct.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

Shenoy, A., & Appel, J. M. (2017). Safeguarding confidentiality in electronic health

records. Cambridge Q. Healthcare Ethics26, 337.

Wells, D. D., & Molina, A. D. (2017). The truth about honesty. Journal of Public and Nonprofit

Affairs3(3), 292-308.