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Elementary vocabulary
New: elem


Choosing to do what one believes is right even if the result will not be to everyone's liking or may lead to personal loss.
Fundamental beliefs (or a set of beliefs) or guiding principles.
Effective (or Well-Implemented) Ethics and Compliance Program (as defined by ECI)
A vital, living parts of a company's ethos and way of doing business that ensures ethical conduct is rewarded and that employees know how to and feel supported in their efforts to uphold ethics standards in their work. ECI measures six hallmarks of a company with an effective ethics and compliance program: 1) freedom to question management without fear; 2) rewards for following ethics standards; 3) not rewarding questionable practices, even if they produce good results for the company; 4) positive feedback for ethical conduct; 5) employee preparedness to address misconduct; and 6) employees' willingness to seek ethics advice.
Caring about the consequences of one's choices as they affect others. Being concerned with the affect one's decisions have on those who have no say in the decision itself.
Ethical Congruence
A situation where one's decision is consistent with, aligns with, the applicable set(s) of values. Under these circumstances, a choice to take some action will harmonize with the decision-maker's values. The organizational state where values, behaviors and perceptions are aligned.
Ethical Decision-Making
Decisions that involve ethical considerations. Factors to be considered include:
Impact of the action or decision on others or relationships with them (altruistic considerations)
Determination of the "right thing to do" - as defined by the values and principles which apply to this situation (idealistic considerations)
Potential consequences of the action or decision (individualistic considerations)
Business consequences of this action or decision (pragmatic considerations)
Ethical Differences
Situations in which two people agree on a particular value and disagree as to the action to be taken or decision to be made.
Ethical Dilemmas
Challenging situations that require involve competing sets of values.
The study of right and wrong conduct. Alternately, it can be defined as:
The decisions, choices, and actions (behaviors) we make that reflect and enact our values.
The study of what we understand to be good and right behavior and how people make those judgments (from "What is the Difference Between Ethics, Morals and Values?" Frank Navran).
A set of standards of conduct that guide decisions and actions based on duties derived from core values (from "The Ethics of Non-profit Management," Stephen D. Potts).
There are many definitions as to what ethics encompasses:
The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation;
Decisions, choices and actions we make that reflect and enact our values;
A set of moral principles or values;
A theory or system of moral values; and/or
A guiding philosophy.
(From "Creating a Workable Company Code of Conduct," 2003, Ethics Resource Center)
Ethics Culture
The extent to which employees at all levels are committed to doing what is right and successfully upholding values and standards. Ethics culture includes ethical leadership (tone at the top); supervisor reinforcement of ethical behavior; and peer commitment to support one another in doing right.
Ethics Risk
Potential for harm to an organization caused by misconduct that goes undetected and persists due to lack of management awareness and action.
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