Robin W. Lovin describes Ethics in part as “the study of that human good in its most general terms”. The immediate question to ask are we as human beings all “good”. If we are not all good, why do we expect good in others? Why do we pursue justice, fairness and right if we are all good? While it may be that we are not all good, a society cannot exist without some agreement on the basic ethics of association. In the context of employment, policy, rules and regulations communicate and order the expectations of the employers and manage relationships amongst all staff for everyone’s good.
Ethics requires a person to do the right thing, at the right time, the right way for the right reasons. But that is not as easily done as said. What are the ethical questions that should be answered when an employee arrives at work late? Should your employer deduct the amount of time lost from your salary? Another question might be How do you handle company resources? Can you take a pencil home or download your favourite movies on the office computer? When does earning a commission become unethical? The ethical questions you face on the job are not inked on your contract. Indeed, the ethical questions are in between the lines of your job description, in your conscience and woven through the rules of the business and the laws of the land.
Employees face ethical issues on a daily basis and following rules may resolve some of them, but the principles of human good; love, fairness, justice and truth are the most important when it comes to ethical practice.