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Research Papers on Ethical Companies

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Business ethics is a term that has traditionally been seen as an oxymoron. While this is not meant to imply that ethical business practices are not viable, what is does show is that organizations have garnered a reputation for themselves as being slightly less than ethical in their business practices. Given the reality that ethical practices in the workplace are often seen as counterproductive to meeting the objectives of the organization—namely to create profits—is it reasonable to believe that companies can be both effective and ethical? Further, if this can be accomplished, what are the benefits that can be reaped from such a maneuver?

Unethical Behavior in Organizations

Ethical Companies

Arguably, answering the questions posed above proves quite challenging. While there are a number of examples, which illustrate unethical behavior in organizations, for example:

There are few examples which fully elucidate what it means to be an ethical company. As such, finding organizations that embody ethical practices and still remain successful in today's economy is quite difficult. Perusing current literature on the topic of ethical companies, it becomes quite clear that as ethics begins to take center stage in the public eye, companies are being forced to reexamine their business practices and consider what can be to strike a balance between profits and ethics.

Ethical Standards

Considering companies that have worked to improve their ethical standards, one author profiled several multinational corporations to determine what steps could be taken within the organizational structure to effect change and create a more ethical environment. Looking first at the Dow Chemical Company from Midland Michigan, this author reports that in order to create a more ethical company, management has worked to "delayer" the organization so that there are only six tiers of management between the shop floor and the CEO. According a spokesman for the company, "Not only is it important to get the right communication and training out to people, it's important for them to know what their leaders expect"

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