Role of Ethics

Against the backdrop of defining what ethics is and what its not in previous entries, we shall consider today the role of ethics in an organization. We shall use the regulatory tool of the code of ethics. What is it expected to do for an organization?

For example purposes we will sometimes consider the role of a Code of Ethics in the Ghana Civil Service.

The Role of Ethics within an organization

The role of a Code of Ethics in an organization include the following:

  1. It acts as a guidepost or objective standard for ethical decision making
  2. It shapes employee behaviour
  3. It promotes an ethically sound organizational culture
  4. It promotes unity of purpose by promoting the same ethical philosophy. The result is a united workforce
  5. It provides employees with a compass to help navigate through complex, challenging situations and dilemmas that are not clear cut
  6. It can help to align employee’s personal values, attitudes and behaviours with that of the organization
  7. It shows employees what is expected by the employer
  8. It provides a tether, yardstick or benchmark that demarcates boundaries of acceptable behaviour for e.g. in the Ghana Civil Service beyond which certain punitive or disciplinary measures will be applied
  9. It provides a standard (an assessment tool) against which attitudes and behaviours of employees can be measured for the purpose of performance appraisal or management
  10. It instills or inspires in employees or Civil Service the core organizational values. In the Ghana Civil Service the core values are known as guiding principles and can be found on page 4
  11. To create an ideal for employees or Civil Servants to aspire to
  12. To serve as a guide to Civil Servants in their normal relationships and dealings with their principal stakeholders, viz, the Government, Civil Service Organizations, and the general public

Finally a Code of Ethics properly implemented helps to close the cognitive dissonance gap between the individual employee and their organization. In fact, all the aforementioned can be harnessed not only by organizations but whole nations and regional integration arrangements.