With the advancement in technology experienced today, globalization and the high economic development, businesses of all categories and sizes face a multitude of ethical issues. It is the duty of any company to develop a code of conduct and ethics that every employee will follow and put into practice. Some of the fundamental ethical issues facing businesses include:
In what has become a common practice in accounting, individuals are engaging in unethical accounting practices commonly referred to as ‘cooking the books’. For example, in 2001 American Energy Company Enron was enveloped by scandal in which the auditor had discovered that it normally presented altered financial statements. When the truth was revealed, the company lost a lot of money and eventually went out of business.
The use of social media is another issue that needs to be addressed urgently. For example, there are questions as to whether an organization should fire an employee for posting particular information about it online. Should the posts on social media be counted as free speech or is it unethical to punish employees for what they post? The issue is complicated in a way although it should be noted that such measures would be taken if the posts of the employee would adversely affect the business.
Discrimination and harassment are other contemporary ethical issues that are prevalent in, most businesses. For example, there have been reported cases at work of unfair wages, treatment and racial discrimination aimed at particular people in some countries.
There is also the issue of health and safety measure in an organization. According to a report by International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of people that die annually either from job-related sickness or occupational accident is 6,300.apart from the physical harm at work, there are other health concerns such as job insecurity, eating disorders and low autonomy that result from working under certain conditions.