What does it mean to you to be ethical?

  • What does it mean to you to be ethical?
  • Do you anticipate ethical challenges as you go forward in your career?
  • What resources and tools will you utilize to help you when you face these challenges?

Being ethical means doing the right thing. Under any circumstances taking the decision that is best for most number of people, the environment and is sustainable in long run. While we do what is right for most number of people, business and environment, we need to be aware of the laws and regulations too, we need to comply with them every time. Sometimes, being ethical means reporting financial numbers accurately, sometimes it means not polluting the environment and protect the environment and future generation. Sometimes, being ethical might mean as simple as telling the truth. Not over exaggerating in advertisements just to boost sales numbers. For profit businesses exist to make profit, it is only ethical to give some profits back to the society, as pay back, to support and empower people, take care of the environment to create a sustainable future, brand awareness and earn a good reputation, moreover, this is considered to be ethical too.

I have worked in my current industry for more than 10 years now. And being a supervisor / team lead I have faced ethical issues. So, of course I anticipate ethical issues in future too. For example – I worked In projects where management charged clients for experienced resources, but in project they actually deployed interns and trainees, mostly for to maximize profit. They expected the interns and trainees to deliver as much as and as good as experienced resources and as you can expect, that did not go per plan. I often see this as an ethical problem. But it is not just about overcharging clients, or delivering poor quality to them. We ( because of the management’s decision) actually do not provide good training to the interns or the trainees, since they are brought into project without proper training and given a deadline to meet, in the name of on job training. It actually hampers the future of these resources. They face extreme stress, they do not get much mentoring and feel pressured to deliver. And end of the day when the project gets over, these resources leave with bitter experience and bad memories. But, when we see the projects fail, usually the higher management steps in, to find out what went wrong. I believe the executives do not want to see projects fail, so they do not support such short sighted action as replacing experienced resources with interns.

My resource and tool is mainly knowledge that I gathered in this course and of course the experiences I have in my working life. My tool, is mainly actions and communication. Identifying what is unethical and doing the right thing to stop it. For example, if I see that project manager is trying replace experienced resources with interns, I need to share my past experience with him and remind him that we are taking money from client to deliver quality product in time, and we need experienced resource for that. In case that does not work out I can escalate to higher ups. There are other ethical issues too, such as breaking HR policies in organizations. Often organization provides code of conduct, I need to follow those and when I see someone not following, I need to warn them or report them. So, I believe communication is going to be my tool to fix the probems.

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