Posted on: February 5, 2020

Dr. Rhonda Thomas Distinguishes Ethics from Compliance

Dr. Rhonda Thomas Distinguishes Ethics from Compliance

The discipline of Ethics is so broad it often gets confused with compliance. This confusion suggests ethics is difficult to define. In the interest of simplicity, Ethics is the discipline that governs the behavior of organizations and people and categorizing that behavior as right or wrong, reasonable or unreasonable, good versus evil. Compliance means to follow the laws and rules that apply to your company’s business. To navigate the professional terrain and support responsible living, I have developed a Personal Ethical Framework. To do this, it is very important that I understood the principles under which ethics, or an ethical system operates. For this reason, I considered assumptions, ethical theories, justifications, consequences, and ethical concepts. These inherent components influenced me to concentrate on developing a Personal Ethical Framework that includes core values, ethical theories, an understanding of my moral proposition, and a regard for the applicability and generalization of my framework. In conclusion, applying the ideas discussed in this post, helped me to meet the ethical challenges of my career. Likewise, it has helped me to have a broader understanding of human relationships and how the actors make ethical decisions. The effect of these decisions extends into society, which further complicates the application and interpretation of ethics. Under those circumstances, I reflect and refer to my Personal Ethical Framework for consistent guidance.

Several years ago, I had to activate my Personal Ethical Framework when I observed an inappropriate office relationship where an employee was reporting to his significant other. The situation was wrong in terms of compliance to company policy and based on fair and equitable distribution of rewards, punishment, and honesty in business. I reported the incident to an approved reporting channel, which initiated an investigation. The investigation revealed that indeed the relationship was inappropriate and both parties were separated from the company.

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