Why Are Professional Standards of Ethics Important?
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While some were taught to value the “Golden Rule”, others learned to value money, possessions and status over all else. Bernie Madoff is an excellent example. He swindled investors out of an estimated fifty billion dollars in a Ponzi scheme that lasted for years. Unscrupulously, he promised clients massive returns on their investments, which for some was their entire life savings. A judge recently sentenced him to over 100 years in prison and deservedly so; but the money, and consequently, many retirement funds and livelihoods are gone. The Ponzi scheme mentioned above is named after its originator, Charles Ponzi. He was an Italian immigrant who, in the 1920s, deceived people to invest in mail coupons and promised returns eight times what banks were offering and in far less time. Even then, Ponzi received millions from investors looking to make quick, and large, sums of money. To establish legitimacy, Ponzi paid some of the earliest investors what he promised. Millions of dollars later, it turned out he was a conman and had only purchased less than fifty dollars worth of the investment he sold. He also went to prison. Clearly, what these men valued was personal gain and money. Neither had any ethical standards and both preyed on other people’s value of getting rich quickly. Although these are extraordinary examples, the relative impact on one’s career success from not applying good moral values and ethics could be just as damaging. Professional values and ethics are mere extensions of the values and ethics learned from family, spiritual leaders and teachers. What one is taught to value growing up will carry over in the professional world. Professionals with upstanding values and ethical standards are easy to identify, as is the company that employs them. Values based business decisions and ethical guidelines adhered to by all are the benchmark for success. Those who accept less can have a detrimental impact on their company and maybe, the rest of society.
When one upholds professionalism he or she expects to be loyal to the organization, have high level of integrity, be knowledgeable and applies tact in undertaking tasks of the organization. He should be a social catalyst and serve the management and other employees without biasness. The professional conduct helps to gain trust in the public and improve professional development (Naagarazan 39). Professionalism in the public domain determines how resources and other activities are carried out. A professional will bear responsibility of his work in the sense that he becomes liable and accountable for action he takes in the organization. By carrying out his duty well, he gets appraisal from the management due to his success.
Negative ethical decisions are noticed more frequently and provide a basis for judgment rather than positive ethical decisions. Each individual has a distinct responsibility to make the right and moral choice each time an ethical situation arises.
Naagarazan, Ramayan. Textbook on Professional Ethics and Human Values. New Delhi: New Age International, 2006. Print.
Philip, Sadler. Management consultancy: a handbook for best practice. London: Kogan Page Publishers, 2002. Print.