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12 Ethical Principles for Business Executives Cheat Sheet by

principles     business     ethics     executvies

Introd­uction

Ethical values, translated into active language establ­ishing standards or rules describing the kind of behavior an ethical person should and should not engage in, are ethical princi­ples. The following list of principles incorp­orate the charac­ter­istics and values that most people associate with ethical behavior. Ethical decision making system­ati­cally considers these princi­ples.

1. HONESTY

Ethical executives are honest and truthful in all their dealings and they do not delibe­rately mislead or deceive others by misrep­res­ent­ations, overst­ate­ments, partial truths, selective omissions, or any other means.

2. INTEGRITY

Ethical executives demons­trate personal integrity and the courage of their convic­tions by doing what they think is right even when there is great pressure to do otherwise; they are princi­pled, honorable and upright; they will fight for their beliefs. They will not sacrifice principle for expedi­ency, be hypocr­itical, or unscru­pulous.

3. PROMIS­E-K­EEPING & TRUSTW­ORT­HINESS.

Ethical executives are worthy of trust. They are candid and forthc­oming in supplying relevant inform­ation and correcting misapp­reh­ensions of fact, and they make everyr­eas­onable effort to fulfill the letter and spirit of their promises and commit­ments. They do not interpret agreements in an unreas­onably technical or legalistic manner in order to ration­alize non-co­mpl­iance or create justif­ica­tions for escaping their commit­ments.

4. LOYALTY

Ethical executives are worthy of trust, demons­trate fidelity and loyalty to persons and instit­utions by friendship in adversity, support and devotion to duty; they do not use or disclose inform­ation learned in confidence for personal advantage. They safeguard the ability to make indepe­ndent profes­sional judgments by scrupu­lously avoiding undue influences and conflicts of interest. They are loyal to their companies and colleagues and if they decide to accept other employ­ment, they provide reasonable notice, respect the propri­etary inform­ation of their former employer, and refuse to engage in any activities that take undue advantage of their previous positions.

5. FAIRNESS

Ethical executives and fair and just in all dealings; they do not exercise power arbitr­arily, and do not use overre­aching nor indecent means to gain or maintain any advantage nor take undue advantage of another’s mistakes or diffic­ulties. Fair persons manifest a commitment to justice, the equal treatment of indivi­duals, tolerance for and acceptance of diversity, the they are open-m­inded; they are willing to admit they are wrong and, where approp­riate, change their positions and beliefs.
 

10 Ethical Principles

6. CONCERN FOR OTHERS

Ethical executives are caring, compas­sio­nate, benevolent and kind; they like the Golden Rule, help those in need, and seek to accomplish their business objectives in a manner that causes the least harm and the greatest positive good.

7. RESPECT FOR OTHERS

Ethical executives demons­trate respect for the human dignity, autonomy, privacy, rights, and interests of all those who have a stake in their decisions; they are courteous and treat all people with equal respect and dignity regardless of sex, race or national origin.

8. LAW ABIDING

Ethical executives abide by laws, rules and regula­tions relating to their business activi­ties.

9. COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

Ethical executives pursue excellence in performing their duties, are well informed and prepared, and constantly endeavor to increase their profic­iency in all areas of respon­sib­ility.

10. LEADERSHIP

Ethical executives are conscious of the respon­sib­ilities and opport­unities of their position of leadership and seek to be positive ethical role models by their own conduct and by helping to create an enviro­nment in which principled reasoning and ethical decision making are highly prized.

11. REPUTATION AND MORALE

Ethical executives seek to protect and build the company’s good reputation and the morale of it’s employees by engaging in no conduct that might undermine respect and by taking whatever actions are necessary to correct or prevent inappr­opriate conduct of others.

12. ACCOUN­TAB­ILITY

Ethical executives acknow­ledge and accept personal accoun­tab­ility for the ethical quality of their decisions and omissions to themse­lves, their collea­gues, their companies, and their commun­ities.

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