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Dealing With Business Ethical Dilemmas

WHAT IS ETHICS: Simply put, ethics involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing. For example, the accounting ind...

WHAT IS ETHICS: Simply put, ethics involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing.

For example, the accounting industry has developed a Code of Professional Conduct, which everyone should adhere to. According to the Code of Professional Conduct, there are five fundamental principles of professional ethics. These principles are integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour. Under the framework, all professional accountants will be required to identify threats to these fundamental principles and, if there are threats, apply safeguards to ensure that the principles are not compromised.

Ethical dilemmas can keep you up at night, worrying about what's the right thing to do. The problem with ethical dilemmas is that there's never an easy answer to this question. You have to weigh your moral code of conduct with the consequences for the people involved. Here's how to solve an ethical dilemma.
Dealing With Business Ethical Dilemmas
1. Consider your own motives and try to detach them from your decision. If your ethical dilemma is whether to tell your friend's husband that she's cheating, your instinct might be to keep quiet rather than potentially lose your friendship. Take your own feelings out of the equation and focus on consequences to the involved parties.

2. Consider your moral code of conduct. If you're pondering ethical issues, you must have a strong sense of right and wrong. Ask your conscience what the right thing to do is. See if that makes the dilemma easier to solve.

3. Think about the consequences, what will happen if you come down on one side of the moral dilemma versus the other. Consider whether anyone will be hurt or will suffer unjustly. Also consider any secondary parties involved. Telling the boss that the cleaner did a bad job in the conference room might force an inadequate employee to take responsibility for their actions. If a family living at poverty level loses an income over one sloppy job, it might be worth it to suffer through a little more dust than you prefer.

Act with the frame of reference of ethical behaviour in mind:
· The laws of the country.
· Your specific industry rules.
· Organisational policies and procedures.
· General principles and values.
· Your own moral compass.

Indicate in the following circumstances whether these situations are ethical dilemmas. Which frame of reference can you use to justify and answer your question?

Circumstance Ethical dilemma
Y / N

You need a bit of extra money and you take on an extra job as a waitress / waiter.

You often take work home, which means you will need stationery to get the work done. Can you take office supplies home?

A client offers you a gift for your birthday. Will you accept the gift?
You copy music onto your i-Pod from CDs that you bought. Your friends like it and ask if they can copy it from you.