Ethics is defined as a specific field of study that includes defending, recommending the right and the wrong behaviour (Winch, 2020). Thus, the disciple of this involves the valuation of values and further linking such values to human behaviour in order to determine whether the behaviour is right or wrong. Therefore, it is considered to be a branch of knowledge that specifically deals with moral principles. The aspect of ethics applies to a business entity where it is termed as Business ethics (Keown, 2016). The following paragraphs will provide a reflection on the learning during the class by covering three key concepts.
One of the readings during the course focused on determining the top challenges that are faced by CEOs in the area of business ethics. The reading has tried to point out issues and the problem that these people face while ensuring the implementation of business ethics. Along with this, the readings during the lectures have also covered the role of the corporate culture in the area of ethical decision making. The reading has been aimed to provide an overview of the way corporate culture in a company impacts the ethical decision making undertaken by the company and further defining the future prospects for growth and survival. The reading has further helped in understanding that the corporate culture of a company which is expressed through looks, labels, gestures, programs, legends and other promotional activity that is undertaken by the company. In this respect, I have got an opportunity to evaluate the role played by the leaders in the area of ethical decision making. I have been to link the ethical behaviour of the leader with that of the team members. The way in which the trustworthiness of the leader enables the company to increase the level of trust among the employees also helps the company to implement ethical behaviour in the corporate culture (Kremer, Villamor & Aguinis, 2019).
Along with this, the lectures and the reading during the course have also enabled me to understand the aspect of ethical leadership. The week 12 readings cover the concept of ethical learning which has further provided me with an opportunity to gain understanding about the same and also determine the importance that the ethical leadership plays in adding to the productivity of the employees. In addition to this, the readings have also covered the 4 V model of ethical leadership that has added to my theoretical knowledge about the concept of ethical leadership. In addition to this, I have also gained insights into the aspect of an ethical dilemma faced by various companies and business managers.
The readings and the lectures attended by me during the course has, therefore, helped me to learn a number of aspects and topics related to business ethics and the way in which various companies have to deal with the complexities existing in the internal and the external environment while ensuring that business ethics are implemented in the company and its operations. The readings have greatly influenced the existing through the process and the ideas that were held by me towards the business ethics and the role of a leader in ensuring the effective implementation of the business ethics within the internal working environment of a company. Prior to the learning gained from the lectures and the readings, I used to think that the values and moral principles cannot be implemented within a company and in the process of decision making as these may restrict the profitable activities of the business and thus impact their growth prospects. The learning has helped me to understand that business ethics is very important for every company specifically considering the existing competitive landscape where each and every company aims to prove itself good in the eyes of the public and the market place.
Along with this, the learning has also impacted my views and thoughts about the aspect of ethical leadership. In the past, I did not understand the concept of ethical leadership where I was not sure that a leader can guide and direct the team members while implementing business ethics and moral principles at the same time. After going through the readings and after attending the lectures, I have been able to understand the role of a leader in building a conductive corporate culture where the company can implement the principles of ethical decision making and also ensure that each and every action of the team members and the employees are as per the defined ethical code of conduct by the company (Ciulla, 2020). The readings have also highlighted the ethical frameworks and the evaluation of the corporate culture for a better understanding of business ethics. In this respect, the major dimensions of the organisation culture have been depicted which includes the dimension covering concern for people and the dimension covering the concerns for performance. These cover the organisation’s concern for taking care of the employees and also the organisations concern for focusing on the output while addressing the aspect of the employee's productivity.
Another significant aspect covered in the reading is the steps involved in the measurement of ethical corporate culture in a company and has, therefore, helped the students to evaluate the cultures of various popular companies in the world. Along with this, the reading has also been directed to provide an understanding of the practical implementation of business ethics in a practical workplace. In this respect, it has highlighted the examples of four of the key organisational culture including that of Ben & Jerry, Starbucks, Countrywide Financial and the United Parcel Systems. Through the examples, the aim has been to demonstrate the implementation of business ethics and their impact upon working in a professional setup.
Along with the way in which the readings and the learning have impacted the existing thoughts and the ideas about the ethical leadership and the implementation as well as the importance of the business ethics, the specific readings material that has been covered in the class and in the tutorial readings may have a direct impact upon the professional practice. Though the readings, I have been able to gain a lot of understanding about the concept of business ethics and also about ethical leadership. I aim to become an effective leader in the future and shape my profession in the area of leadership. Therefore, the readings and the learning have the ability to influence the knowledge I used to hold about the impact of a leader. After doing through the lectures and the reading material, I have gained an interest in the area of ethical leadership. This will direct my future readings as well where I will devote more and more time to gain knowledge about the aspect and also understand the future professional prospects in the area of ethical leadership.
There are a number of ideas related to my work and profession that I have undertaken. I have aimed to take a course in the area of ethical leadership and business ethics as a whole that would provide me a better understanding of the practical implementation of ethical norms and code of conduct by a leader. In addition to this, I would try to undertake an internship under an effective ethical leader which would enable me to understand the practical approach of the leader and the way in which the leader guides and directs the team members while implementing the moral principles defined by the company. After this, I aim to get a good job in a multinational company where I want to pursue my profession as a leader and end up becoming a successful ethical leader who would be recognised for the work and performance in the area of ethical leadership. This way I would become a role model for a number of people who are waiting for an opportunity to shape their career in the area of leadership.
During the number of activities and the lectures arranged for providing an understanding of the aspect of business ethics, I have gained some key observations, which has helped me to reach meaningful conclusions. One of the key observations that I have gained through the readings and the learning is the fact that for an ethical leader to become successful, the role played by the company in providing the leader with delegation and empowerment s very crucial. The company has a major role in developing a conductive environment where the ethical code of conduct that is defined by the company and is implemented by the leaders should offer the team members and eth employees with the opportunity to achieve the organisational and also the individual goal during work (Trevino & Nelson, 2016). This way the ethical leader is able to direct the action of the employees and the team members in the desired direction. An insightful question came across my mind while studying the course and going through the readings. I wanted to know whether ethical leadership and the implementation of business ethics differ from one industry to another. In order to gain answer to my question, I went through a number o books and articles across various online libraries where I came to know that the implementation of the aspect of ethical decision making and leadership differs from one industry to another which has thus helped me to clear a number confusions that arise during the learning in this unit and course.
In addition to the learning through readings and the lecture material, I have also aimed to extend my knowledge about ethical leadership and business ethics. In order to meet my goals, I have attended a number of seminars related to business ethics and the ethical leadership that has been organised across the place. Along with this, I have ensured that I have full theoretical knowledge before progressing forward to gain practical knowledge and implementation of business ethics and ethical leadership. Therefore, I have spent a lot of time going through the books and articles on various online libraries and databases. To gain theoretical knowledge, I have researched various journals of leadership across some of the trusted databases and identified the most appropriate articles that would help me in adding to the existing set of knowledge and insights.
I have an opinion in order to make the readings and lecture material more effective in providing an understanding of ethical leadership and business ethics. In my opinion, the activity of role-playing would assist the effective understanding and learning about the aspect. According to my understanding, the role-play activity will help the students in understanding the practical implementation of the business ethics in corporate culture and further enable them to clear any kind of confusion that they would face in the future while working in companies and professional work environment (Leaf et al., 2016). Along with this, case studies are another effective method that can be used to ensure that the students are able to understand complexities that can arise in a company while implementing business ethics. This will help the students to develop an analytical mindset that would further promote an effective understanding of various theoretical concepts that are studied in the lecture through readings and materials.
From the above explanation, it can be concluded that reflection about the readings and the lecture material that have been provided as a part of the course has helped in recalling a number of aspects and topics. The above sections of the reflective journal have demonstrated the learning from the reading and the way in which the learning has impacted the views and the thought process about the aspect and the topics. Along with this, it has also pointed out the future professional prospective that can be linked to the topic and play a major role in shaping up the career in this area.
Ciulla, J. B. (2020). The importance of leadership in shaping business values. In The Search for Ethics in Leadership, Business, and Beyond (pp. 153-163). Springer, Cham.
Keown, D. (2016). The nature of Buddhist ethics. Springer.
Kremer, H., Villamor, I., & Aguinis, H. (2019). Innovation leadership: Best-practice recommendations for promoting employee creativity, voice, and knowledge sharing. Business Horizons, 62(1), 65-74.
Leaf, J. B., Taubman, M., Milne, C., Dale, S., Leaf, J., Townley-Cochran, D., ... & McEachin, J. (2016). Teaching social communication skills using a cool versus not cool procedure plus role-playing and a social skills taxonomy. Education and Treatment of Children, 39(1), 44-63.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Winch, P. (2020). Ethics and action. Routledge.
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