Ethical Issues in Organizational Behavior

2 February 2017

Corporations will usually provide their employees with a mission statement that often includes the company’s expectations in ethical matters. It is important for the company to instill this code of conduct to their employees. It is even more important for that company to follow the guidelines that they lay out for their employees. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.

It is prudent for the companies to not act in an unethical manner as it may cause problems with customers, sales, or even the environment.An article in Corporate Finance Review, by Marianne Jennings, evaluates five companies that faced huge public relations issues because of unethical behavior. One company included in the article, is the ever notorious BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Before the BP oil spill took place, managers working for the company were ignoring major safety concerns in the hopes of meeting their increasingly small budget.

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According to the author, “the internal report on what went wrong stated that (mangers) put off repairing the pump in the context of a tight cost budget” (Jennings, 2011, para. ). Unfortunately, major safety concerns were not addressed until after the worst oil spill in history occurred.

Another company addressed in this article, is Toyota and the very public problem with sudden acceleration. This company initially disregarded customer complaints that their may be a problem with their cars. They later claimed the issue could be fixed by removing the floor mats. The company was insisting that the issue was “limited and fixable at a low cost” (Jennings, 2011, para. 14).However, four days after Toyota released their solution to the public, a fatal truck accident occurred because of sudden unexplained acceleration even after the driver removed the floor mats. Four people died in the accident.

Both situations (Toyota acceleration issue and the BP oil spill) may have been avoided if people were to act in an ethical manner instead of bypassing safety concerns. Both companies have suffered a great deal more than they would have if they were to have corrected the safety concerns before the disasters.However, unethical decision making led to a loss of lives, loss of sales, loss of trust, and severe damage to the environment. Ethical issues are a major concern to organizations because they cause such huge issues with the public. People were very upset about the lives of the people lost on the rig and the extreme impact the spill had on the environment. This undoubtedly had a large effect on the way the public views the company. It will be difficult if not impossible to reverse the damage to BP’s name.

Ethical issues are also a major concern to corporations because they tend to cost the company a lot of money. If unethical decisions are seen, it is likely that employees will view business ethics as unimportant to the company. Individual influences can greatly impact ethical behavior. Technology, for instance, makes it easier for one to act in an unethical manner. One can download music from a website and have a cd that is worth fourteen dollars without paying anything. It may not feel like stealing because the person is detached from the seller, however it is stealing. Most people who download music illegally do not regard it as such.

It is important for corporations to act in an ethical manner. When a company acts in an unethical manner, many problems can arise. It is in the company’s best interest to act in an ethical manner to avoid loss in customers or a loss in money. References Jennings, M. (2011). It’s not the pr that’s bad: the ethics may be the problem

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Ethical Issues in Organizational Behavior. (2017, Feb 13). Retrieved August 22, 2019, from
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