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Ethical Behavior


This web project focuses on the topic of ethical behavior.  Ethical behavior is acting in ways that are consistent with one’ personal values and the commonly held values of the organization and society (Naran, 1992).  The Baldridge organization, which evaluates an organization’s overall quality, presents an even more detailed definition of ethical behavior.


Unethical behavior by employees can affect individuals, work teams, and even the organization (Andrews, 1989).  Organizations thus depend on individuals to act ethically.  One company recognized for its comprehensive efforts to encourage ethical behavior is General Dynamics.  Several years ago, the company launched a program to integrate its ethical standards into every day business conduct (Wagel, 1987).  It developed a booklet of ethical standards, distributed it to all employees, and undertook a massive training effort to express to all employees the importance of ethical behavior.  Faith Regional Hospital, located in Norfolk, Nebraska, is also devoted to ethical behavior.  They have created a code of ethical behavior, that they share with their employees.


Today’s high-intensity business environment makes it more important than ever to have a strong ethics program in place.  In a survey of more than 4,000 employees conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics Resource Center, one-third of the employees said that they had witnessed ethical misconduct in the past year (Flynn, 1995).


The ethical issues that individuals face at work are complex.  A review of articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal during just one week revealed more than sixty articles dealing with ethical issues in business (Cherrington & Cherrington, 1992).  However, the perception of what constitutes ethical versus unethical behavior in organizations varies among individuals.


Our website deals with the following issues related to ethical behavior:


*       Value Systems (developed by Alicia Smith)

*       Locus of Control (developed by Michael Jones)

*       Ethical Decision Making (developed by Kimora Johnson)


For more information on Ethical Behavior, we invite you to visit these organizations:

*    Ethics Resource Center

*    Institute for Business Technology and Ethics

*    Society for Business Ethics


This web page project was developed for Dr. Bane’s organizational behavior class at Bloomfield College.



K. R. Andrews, “Ethics in practice.”  Harvard Business Review (Sept – Oct, 1989), 99-104.

J. O. Cherrington and D. J. Cherrington, “A Menue of Moral Issues:  One Week in the Life of The Wall Street Journal,” Journal of Business Ethics, 11 (1992), 255-265.

G. Flynn, “Make employee ethics your business.”  Personnel Journal (June 1995): 30-40.

F. Naran, “Your Role in Shaping Ethics,” Executive Excellence, 9 (1992), 11 – 12.

W. H. Wagel, “A New Focus on Business Ethics at General Dynamics,” Personnel (August 1987): 4 – 8


*        Home Page Developed by Denise Bane, e-mail: