Management and Ethics

In the article Managing to be ethical: Debunking five business ethics myths, authors Treviño and Brown discuss popular myths associated with ethics within the business world and provide a guideline for effective ethics management. This article, although usually boring and worn out topic (in my opinion), was engaging and made me more interested in ethics than ever. I took a business ethics class, and by the end of the semester I never wanted to talk about ethics in the workplace again. However, this article brings up some great points, and takes on ethics from a different (refreshing – if you could even describe ethics that way) approach.
I especially enjoyed this article because Treviño and Brown provide the reader with examples/counterexamples of the myths that I would have otherwise argued against. It seems obvious in most situations we read about or study that it is easy to identify the “right thing” to do; but after reading this article, it is seems just the opposite is true.   For example in the first myth about the simplicity of ethical decisions, it never crossed my mind that some things we (as Americans) consider wrong, is completely acceptable by other cultures. Although we think it is wrong to labor children, in other societies doing this is just fine, and keeps them from even worse things like prostitution, stealing, illegal activities, etc. Since business in general has become more globalized over the past few decades, it is important to be extra sensitive when it comes to decision making, because not only will decisions be made with little guideline, but also they will affect more people than before.
Ethics will always be an issue when conflicting (or even different) parties are involved – this will never change. As the Alan Greenspan states in regards to fifth myth, “It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed have grown so enormously.” In general I agree with their four-step...