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Ethical & Organizational Climate at My Workplace


The paper shall look at the ethical climate within my current organization. Ethical climate has taken center stage in the corporate arena because it can be a source of competitive advantage, it makes the workplace environment more conducive for employees and the law requires that companies abide by certain ethical principles. However, for purposes of anonymity, the name of the organization will simply be company X.

Analysis of the ethical climate

Organizational culture is described as the shared norms, values, and expectations that govern how people interact and approach their work. (Parker 43) Organizational culture, therefore, answers the question of what one is supposed to do in an enterprise in order to fit in and to get ahead. Company X has an organizational culture that is highly defensive. In other words, employees are expected to follow rules rather than question them and develop them. Aside from that, workers tend to play avoidance tactics in that they try as much as possible to avoid confrontation with their bosses. There is also a perfectionist attitude within this workplace as employees are expected to dedicate long hours in order to realize certain objectives. It should be noted that the defensive culture is in exact opposition to a constructive culture where self-actualization and humanistic support are dominant.

On the other hand, the ethical climate within this organization is quite a on point. First of all, the company’s representatives are perceived as persons with integrity. This is because their modes of behavior portray this concept. For instance, in the event that the firm has to deal with a work-related injury, it is often common to find that leaders in the firm respond immediately to prevent more damage to employees. There is a well-written and distributed code of ethics within the company thus demonstrating a commitment to ethics issues. This code is often the framework against which decisions are made in the firm. Since ethical misconduct is often dealt with quickly then there is a strong ethical climate at my workplace. (Travino 61)

In terms of the components of the ethical climate, there are several categories of ethical issues that are handled within the firm by various individuals. For example, workers are supposed to be accountable to their superiors for actions taken. Also, there are a number of ethical channels available within the firm for communicating ethical information. Ethics mentors are also prevalent in this company

The ethics approach adopted at this workplace is such at the executives set the pace for the rest of the organization to follow. More often than not, values drive the decision-making processes within the company. Financial or other managerial choices are founded on firm ethical principles. Frontline managers have therefore derived influence from executives within this company. Also, ethical training is undertaken in order to ensure that new employees understand the importance of ethics within this company. Not only does the business train workers, but it also makes sure that it repeats these ethical principles to its workers from time to time. Also, there are no earnings targets that have been placed within the company. Consequently, employees do not feel under pressure to break rules and operate unethically just so that they can meet those targets. The emphasis in this organization is on the long-term rather than short-term values.

There are a series of ethics safeguards installed within this workplace at the moment. First of all, the codes of ethics principles are quite elaborate and they contain information about insider trading, conflict of interest, gifts, and other applicable laws. Also, there is a well-functioning ethics office that is given the mandate of looking into any violation of the company’s policies. No line managers or employees work in this office such that neutrality is maintained. However, the company does not have an ethics hotline for employees to report any confidential issues. (Hill & Gareth 103) There is a training process that teaches employees ethical policies and codes. Evaluation is done by top administrators i.e. the company CEO. The ethics office is expected to report directly to him and after it had done this, the CEO usually takes immediate action to remedy the situation.

Most of the issues written in the company’s ethics codes are often adhered to by the employees; however, there are still certain circumstances in which what is being been slightly different from what occurs. Some employees tend to shy away from taking on their immediate bosses especially those ones who have a direct influence on the kind of compensation that they receive. On the other hand, the ethics office has dealt with several ethics cases in the past and has now offered substantial solutions to some of the issues under discussion.

Some ethical safeguards within the workplace do not occur at this place and one of them is the lack of a diverse human resource center. The latter strategy can go a long way in diffusing some of the workplace tensions that arise when employees are not exposed to a diverse work team. Also, the company does not have an ethical hotline and this could come in the way of maintaining confidentiality within the workplace. Lastly, the company places a lot of power on its top executives especially when it comes to decisions regarding the ethics office and ethics compliance officers. It would be better off if it gave this group sole discretion to make binding decisions. Perhaps the reason behind the latter observations is that the company structured does not facilitate power distribution to third parties. (Hill & Gareth 90)

Managers often go out of their way to set an ethical tone within the workplace through their communications and their actions as well. Since policies are very clear on certain issues like incentives, gifts, and other temptations, managers know that if they do something out of step with these expectations then they will be held accountable for it. There is a high value placed in risk assessment and control thus ensuring that managers affect high ethical adherence. The company’s organizational structure also ensures that the responsibilities and authorities of all supervisors and workers are well understood such that errors or fraud can be easily detected within the system. The company’s managers are not immune from investigations if accused of ethical misconduct.

The law plays an important role in limiting ethical deviations at this workplace. For example, there are laws concerning pensions entitlements for employees and these have been adhered to by the company’s top management. Also, the law prohibits plain favoritism by employers, it also deals with matters surrounding promotion and hiring and also protects employees against working in hazardous conditions. (Arlo & Ulrich 31) All these matters have been obliged by the firm’s top administrators.


For company X to be more ethically in tune, it needs to ensure that all the values surrounding employment relationships are well understood. It must also encourage input from its employees concerning the work culture. This organization should also strengthen its complaints mechanisms by creating a hotline. Although the latter improvements are needed by this company to make it more profitable, its ethical climate is quite commendable so far.


Arlo, Richard. & Ulrich, Thomas. “Auditing your organization’s ethics.” Internal auditor journal 39.4 (1999): 31.

Travino, Kim. “Ethical decisions making in organizations.” Academy of Management review 11.3 (1996): 61.

Praker, Mellisa. Organizational identity and culture. London: Sage, 2000.

Hill, Charles & Gareth, Jones. Strategic management. CA: Sage publishers, 2001.


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