An Assessment of Business Ethics in My Workplace Ethics in business is fast becoming a major focus and need for most major corporations today. There is everything to gain in having ethics, and for companies that do not have ethics there is everything to lose. Ethics involves knowing right from wrong and then making the decision to do the right thing. "Virtually every professional organization and every corporation has a code of ethics that specifies the behaviors that are required or forbidden" (Ruggiero, 2001, p. 47). In April 2002 Chase took a hard look at ethics and out of that came what is now called the "Chase Worldwide Rules of Conduct." As a Chase employee we are all expected to understand and follow the Worldwide Rules of Conduct.

The company is counting on us to conduct ourselves responsibly and ethically. It is up to us to demonstrate good judgment, and to have high ethical standards as it pertains to our work. Having integrity is vitally important to the company's reputation and business. It is stressed to every employee to never sacrifice integrity even if you think it would help JPMorgan Chase's business. The Worldwide Rules of Conduct are a term and condition of our employment.

Employees agree by signing off on these rules to report any violations they have been subject to. Matters involving fraudulent acts whether it is by third parties against the firm or dishonesty by an employee, harassment, and intimidation should be immediately reported. The Worldwide Rules of Conduct were written to communicate to each and every employee the standards of ethics and integrity that are expected of them while they are under the employment of JPMorgan Chase. In many cases unethical decisions are not done intentionally, but out of ignorance.

It was felt that if standards of excellence, ethics, and behavior were communicated well throughout the organization it would be a big win in the long-term success of the company. When employees make decisions to act unethically, they affect each and every stakeholder within the organization. A clearly explained code of ethics plays a pivotal role in employee empowerment by clearing up any questions on their own. Employees are empowered to make many choices every day; should the choice prove unethical the company's profits and reputation will suffer.

Employees must be trusted to do the right thing, especially when no one is paying attention. The overall purpose of the Worldwide Rules of Conduct has been achieved in that the message of what is expected in regard to business ethics and responsibilities has been successfully communicated. Well-communicated guidelines help set the standards for employees. The documentation is now in place, and each employee has taken ownership of the rules by giving their signature. The effectiveness of the rules depends primarily on whether they receive support by management, and how employees who break the rules are treated. This means that managers must lead by example.

They must be honest themselves and expect honesty from their employees by establishing clear-cut guidelines and rewards. Unfortunately for some it will only be worth the paper it was written on. You can put out there what the expectation is but it is up to the individual to make the right decision. This is why it is so important that the people that are not following the rules are reported. It is vital to the success of the company. Ethics play such a large role in whether a business is a success or failure.

Without strict ethical policies in place it is difficult for a corporation to maintain the trust and loyalty of its customers. Employees want clear ethical standards to help guide them through unclear situations. No one wants to work for a company that does not stand by the beliefs of high ethics and integrity. Having high ethical standards increases pride and loyalty to the company. Look at what the lack of ethics cost Enron and the amount of devastation that followed. There are not many ways to improve on the fifty-one-page document of the Worldwide Rules of Conduct.

It speaks to most every ethical situation. There will always be situations that arise that are up to some self-interpretation. The key here is communication. What good will these rules do sitting around collecting dust? It is important that the rules are talked about and supported.

It is equally as important that as an employee and a person, that we have a firm grasp on what is morally right and wrong. References Ruggiero, V. (2001). Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing.