Professional ethic can be defined as a set of codes ascribed to a particular profession that encompasses all areas related to the profession such as the personal angle, the organizational angle and the corporate standards of the actions, deeds and behaviors expected of the personnel engaged in the profession. Professionalism in this sense looks at the manner in which the people in that profession conduct themselves in line with the set guidelines that determine the viability of the profession and the credibility of the actions entailed in the particular profession. Professionals in a particular field have the skills and expertise relevant to the profession and as such, they exercise the knowledge they possess in carrying out their roles and duties. The manner in which the use of these skills and expertise are governed in relation to the provision of service is what is known as professional ethics. This is because the provision of service to people in the public needs to be governed to avoid instances of moral issues that may arise from the abuse of the professions activities by the professionals. In this case, the implication is that professionals are able to make judgments in the course of applying their expertise and skills and ensure that they make informed decisions on how the application of their skills can benefit the public and avoid harming the public since they have the power to do so. The public does not possess the relevant skills that professional have in relation to their chosen field and as such, they are dependent on the professions to do what is right by them with their interests as the focal point. This paper is going to discuss the professional code of ethics in business and evaluate a formal code of conduct by an association that deals with business then make the application to a current working experience.
Code of Ethics
Schwartz (2002) notes that a code of ethics as issued by a business is a precise kind of policy declaration or statement that is, in essence, a binding legislation within an organization used by employees of professionals in the ascribed organization. The violation of a code of conduct has ramifications since in the absence of such sanctions; the code of ethics would be a null and void set of principles that has no effect. The sanctions imposed in case of a violation of a code of conduct are normally aimed towards punitive measures such as disciplinary action or in extreme cases dismissal from the said profession.
Business ethics came into being in the middle nineties as social responsibility swept the world and large corporations aimed at being responsible to the society. This came after rising public interest in issues related to consumerism and the effect businesses had on the public and the environment. It is important to understand the difference between ethics and the law in this respect. The law imposes some level of ethical conduct in the society by demanding that people obey the law. Ethics, on the other hand, looks at the behaviors that go beyond obeying the law. A good example is that in ethics, lying is considered unethical while in law, lying is only wrong under specific circumstances that are normally ambiguous at best. For example, the most stringent of law against lying is lying while someone is under oath which can be considered perjury. Business ethics in relation to business codes that are its defining factors will go beyond the strict legality of issues and look at elements that demand professionals go beyond legal strictness and adhere to a higher set of principles. To deviate from the business ethics, a good example of professional codes of conduct is the oath that is taken by doctors worldwide which make all doctors ascribe to the same objective of doing no harm and saving lives (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). .
Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
AITP is one of the principal worldwide societies of professional in the field of information technology. The Association is a non-profit organization that is directed educating professionals in the profession of information technology. The groups inception happened in Chicago in 1949 and rapidly grew to have twenty chapters. The association expects every member of the profession to abide by the set code of ethics, which have been in place since it started and expects its members to conduct their operations guided by the standards of conduct for information technology professionals (Aitp.org, 2016).
The code of ethics and standards for the associations needs members to acknowledge that they have an obligation or duty to management and as such, they shall promote the understanding of information, information processing methods, and procedures to management using every resource at their command. The other code of ethics needs the professionals to agree to an obligation to fellow professionals, cooperate, and be honest and accountable. They also have a duty to the society, their employers, country, and personal responsibility to do good in their professional journey and to the Association(Aitp.org, 2016).
The standards of conduct are aimed at expanding the code of ethics by giving precise statements of behavior the backs every element contained in the code of ethics. These standards are not meant as goals that professionals should strive to achieve but they are rules that a professional in the information technology will not violate. The standards address issues that apply to information technology as a profession as they urge professionals to stay up to date with new inventions in their field. They are to share this knowledge and accept responsibility for their assigned roles. They are not to misuse the authority that they have been entrusted with, give false information, or take advantage of the publics lack of knowledge of information technology (Aitp.org, 2016).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Codes of Ethics
The code of ethics gives a guideline to professionals in a profession, which means they know exactly what is expected of them. It also ensures that new employees in the field have guiding principles on how to proceed in their careers, gives credibility to the profession, and inspires the public confidence in the profession and the professionals in it (Webley & More, 2003).
However, such code of ethics may need time and effort to implement successfully. They may also be interpreted differently by different professionals and as such, may raise the issue of ambiguity and lastly, the codes may raise professionals expectations to a degree that the management of the association may fail to live up to.
Professional codes of conduct and code of ethics are helpful tools that guarantee a profession can be conducted in a health and viable manner that benefits the public's and professional in the field. It is important to ascribe to a code of ethics to ensure that profession can retain its credibility and gain the trust of people. In this case, business ethics are geared towards ensuring that the professionals in the field use their expertise for good and that the public benefits at a maximum level. Without the proper implementation of the code of ethics, however, they remain to be words written and have no meaning. It is, therefore, important to have punitive measures or sanctions that ensure professionals in a field abide by the set codes and standards.
Aitp.org,. (2016). Ethics , Code of Conduct & Conflict of Interest - Association of Information Technology Professionals. Retrieved 1 March 2016, from https://www.aitp.org/?page=EthicsConduct
Carroll, A., & Buchholtz, A. (2014). Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.
Schwartz, M. S. (2002). A code of ethics for corporatecode of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(1-2), 27-43.
Webley, S., & More, E. (2003). Does business ethics pay. Ethics and Financial.
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