Ethics in the Workplace: Series Introduction

Phase 3 are happy to introduce our associate Senior Consultant and Writer, Luke Andreski and a new series of articles he has written on the topic of Ethics in the Workplace which we are publishing on the Phase 3 Insights page.

Here, Luke provides an introductory glance into what’s in store with this series.

Ethics is an increasingly critical talking point in the modern world. Ethical dilemmas of ever greater urgency surround us:

Fake News vs. Truth

Political Expediency vs. Integrity

Expertise vs. Populism

Integration vs. Putting up walls

GDP vs. The environment

This sense of moral urgency touches on all aspects of our personal and political lives. We encounter it in social media, via online and paper newspapers, through the 24 hour news streams, on Twitter and WhatsApp. So, it’s not surprising that its presence is also felt in the workplace. How do we reconcile the needs of efficiency and profitability with employee well-being? What can employers expect from employees in terms of loyalty, commitment, discretion or even secrecy? What can employees expect of employers in terms of fair pay, equal opportunity or even contracted hours? Is a culture of whistle-blowing to be encouraged or can it be destructive? Should businesses be responsible for policing or even educating their customers or clients? And what of the indirect impacts of business on communities and the environment?

Trust in employers is at an all-time low, as reflected in this study: Could trust cost you a generation of talent? What can we do to restore this?

In this series, I argue that ethics lies at the heart of many of these issues and dilemmas, and that ethics can be brought into play to resolve them. I argue that a decisive moral code or set of values is now a critical success factor both for society as a whole and for businesses and employers in particular.

In the last year I have published two books on ethics in a broad social context, and now, in collaboration with Phase 3 and HRZone, I will be looking more specifically at ethics in the workplace, asking questions like:

What does it mean to run an ethical business or to be an ethical employer?

What are the traits of an ethical manager?

What is my moral duty to my employer?

Is there a conflict in the business environment between being ethical and being successful?

I begin the series with an introduction to ethics and its relevance in the modern workplace, and follow this up by asking, “What are the key characteristics of an ethical business? How can we make the organisations we work in or lead more ethical? And is ethics a success factor in the modern workplace?

In subsequent articles I look at management and leadership ethics, the ethical employee, how to manage unethical behaviour, the ‘environmental question’, whistleblowing and transparency, ethical intelligence, and whether ethics can encourage a renewal of trust in the workplace.

Here’s the full list of articles I’ll be writing about:

1. The Point of Ethics
An introduction to ethics and its relevance in the modern workplace.

2. The Ethical Business

What are the key characteristics of an ethical business?

How can we make the organisations we work in or lead more ethical?

Is ethics a success factor in the modern workplace?

3. The Ethical Manager

“Can you be ethical and still successful as a manager?” / Management and Leadership ethics

4. The Ethical Employee

“Is being ethical good for your career?”

  • We have the power
    – i.e. why all our actions in the workplace are important from an ethical perspective
  • What we bring
    – i.e. why everything we bring to the workplace (all aspects of our personality and approach) are also important
  • Moral behaviour
    – i.e. what can be expected of us in the workplace: our responsibility to our employers, our peers, those who report to us etc

5. Ethics and HR

“How do I manage unethical behaviour?”

6. The Environmental Question

“How green is my business – and should it be greener?”

7. Whistle-blowing and Other Ethical Challenges

“Is transparency beneficial or detrimental to organisational well-being?”

8. Ethical Intelligence in the Workplace

“How can my organisation or business increase it ethical IQ?”

9. The Renewal of Trust

“How can we renew trust, both in the workplace and between businesses and the community?”

I’m keenly looking forward to exploring these topics. I hope you will do so, too and would welcome your comments on these articles.

Luke Andreski

Read more articles on our Phase 3 Insights page

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About the Author:

Luke Andreski is a writer with over thirty years’ experience in the IT industry, specialising in People Technology implementation projects and change management. More recently he has focused on moral philosophy and psychology, with a particular interest in business leadership and management ethics.

Luke has published two books on ethics: Ethical Intelligence, a guide to effective ethical thinking in a world of polarised belief and political spin; and Intelligent Ethics, exploring the need for ethical change if we are to address the challenges of the 21st Century.

He is currently working in conjunction with Phase 3 on a series of articles investigating Ethics in the Workplace.