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Ethical Business Practice: An Effective Tool in Enhancing Bank Employees’ Performance in Dumaguete City

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ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICE: AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IN ENHANCING BANK EMPLOYEES’ PERFORMANCE IN DUMAGUETE CITY

A Thesis Proposal Presented to
DR. GREGORIO E. BACCAY III

The Faculty of the College of Business & Information Technology

St. Paul University Dumaguete

In Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Subject

BUSINESS RESEARCH

By:

Aljera C. Camarador

2nd Semester, 2016–2017

CHAPTER I

THE PROBLEM AND ITS SCOPE

INTRODUCTION

As business gets bigger and wider, business ethics also gives bigger attention on  both its education and training. It is being applied in different situations and places. Academic writers like Thorne LeClair and Ferell said that business ethics is not only an application on solving ethical problems but also knowing and learning ethical problems in an easier way. If this is applied, goals such as identifying ethical situations, understanding organization’s vision and evaluating the over-all use of ethical decision on the organization will be achieved. And many companies had already improvised some approaches on business ethics (Crane & Matten, 2010, p.188).

According to Gorospe & Quintos (1995), the Philippine business world today is a far cry from the business world five or six years ago, and we now live in a world of different moral values, where economic gain or the profit motive has become the primary arbiter of right and wrong in business transactions; lying, deception, and misinterpretation have largely replaced truthfulness, honesty, and fair play, and standards of right and wrong are less used as bases for business decisions.

        

        Regardless of various factors that would lead employees to be unethical, there are still ways to prevent such unfavorable acts. It is the desire of the researcher to carefully identify and evaluate the common unethical behaviors and practices among bank employees and to determine for efficient methods or solutions to eliminate or lessen the occurrence of the said unethical practices in the workplace and to prove that ethical business practice is an effective tool in enhancing their performances.

Theoretical Framework

The researcher utilized three theories: Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, and Virtue Theory.        

Utilitarianism

        Utilitarianism is a consequentialist moral theory focused on maximizing the overall good; the good of others as well as the good of one’s self. The notable thinkers associated with utilitarianism are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. These utilitarians are hedonistic, meaning their ideas of good are associated with pleasure or happiness. Thus, classical utilitarianism guides ethical decision makers to make decisions that bring the most pleasure for the greatest number of people. Utilitarianism is very closely associated with consequentialism, to the point where some use the terms interchangeably.

Consequentialism

        The third approach to normative ethics is consequentialism. Consequentialist theories hold that we ought always to act in the way that brings about the best consequences. It doesn’t matter what those acts are; the end justifies the means. All that matters for ethics is making the world a better place.

Virtue Theory

Virtue theory concentrates on the moral character of the agent. According to virtue theory, we ought to possess certain character traits – courage, generosity, compassion, etc. – and these ought to be manifest in our actions. We therefore ought to act in ways that exhibit the virtues, even if that means doing what might generally be seen as bad or bringing about undesirable consequences.

Indeed, utilitarianism and consequentialism share many of the same tenets.  One difference, however, is consequentialism does not specify a desired outcome, while utilitarianism specifies good as the desired outcome. 

Conclusion

Consequentialism and utilitarianism are commonly used in decision-making.  It is natural and logical for a person to think of the consequences of their actions before acting. However, these ethical theories have their weaknesses and should perhaps be applied in combination with other normative ethical frameworks. In many cases, the ethical choices each theory recommends are the same. Virtue ethics is currently one of three major approaches in normative ethics and may be identified as the one that emphasizes the virtues, or moral character, in contrast to the approach that emphasizes duties or rules (deontology) or that emphasizes the consequences of actions (consequentialism); utilitarianism is highly related with virtue ethics.

In summary, the following figure shows the theoretical framework of the study where the three theories are integrated toward the effectiveness of ethical business practice.

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Review of Related Literature

As defined by Jackling, Cooper, and Dellaportas (2006), ethics is the discipline dealing with what is honorable and tough and with moral responsibility and obligation principles of conduct governing an individual or a group.

Ethical business practices are requiring employees to have the best relationships with customers because they are the most important person in the business. Losing just one customer is the death of your business. But this thing will not happen if the employees are ethically doing their jobs as what the community is expecting. And also, the management should have some written code of ethics so that the employees would have good business decision (Ethical behaviour is good business, n.d.).

An example of ethical business practice is transparency, which means to attract more customers and gain their trust such as by publishing ethical guidelines on business websites or establishments and requiring ethical training yearly from staff. Regular evaluation is needed.

Ethical people recognize what is right or wrong and consistently strive to be a good model of conduct. In business, applying principles of good qualities to co-workers and customers is ethical. They want to treat everybody the way they want to be treated. If treated unfairly, customers will not be loyal. Having loyal customer base is one of the keys in to long-term business success because serving customers not only involves money but also requires good company reputation which can help create more positive image that can attract customers. But a negative reputation lessens the firm’s opportunities in gaining new customers most especially that we are now in the age of social networking wherein dissatisfied customers can easily spread their negative reactions based on experiences. That is why firms train members the way they want them to be (Hill, n.d.).

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