Purpose – This paper aims to propose a model of ethics education for corporate organizations framed as an holistic approach to the problem of how to teach ethics.
Design/methodology/approach – As a conceptual/viewpoint piece, this paper recognizes that for ethics education to be successful, individuals and corporations must have an appreciation of their role in the society at large. In addition, there needs to be preparedness on the part of the corporation to engage in an ethical manner with the marketplace with which it interacts.
Findings – Ethics education should not exist in a vacuum, that is just within the organization, but it should reflect the values of the organization as they impact upon and are impacted upon by society in general.
Research/limitations/implications – This model is predicated on a belief that organizations must craft their ethics education program with as much care and enthusiasm as they craft their strategic plan. The employees are the organization's representatives and they need to be made as clear as one can make them as to the ethical philosophy of the company and what is expected of them. Adults have a capacity for greater reasoning and reflection on their life experiences than children and thus the concept of “andragogy” provides a more satisfactory method to fashion education programs for adults than some more traditional methods that focus on training and not education.
Practical implications – When considering the ethics education of its employees, corporations need to place that education in context as it relates to the organization and the wider society as a whole. It is suggested that an ethics education program needs to provide a framework for understanding the concepts of ethics and moral development. Using this framework as the basis for the education offered, the education program is then expanded into an examination of a range of ethical issues presented in a variety of ways.
Originality/value – This paper proposes an integrated way to approach ethics education that ensures that the antecedents of the program are considered in the context of the ethics of individuals, the society and in turn the organization, hence the holistic approach.
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Field of Research
150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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