Ethics refers to science of people’s traits expressed as wrong or right action conduct. Ethics objective is to institute behavioural norms and moral standards. Ethics distillates on the moral standards as it apply to business behaviour, institutions and policies. It tries to use broad business activities moral principles so as to clarify or resolve the re problems that are characteristically arise in business. Ethical communication engages all relevant information with intention of combating evil and fostering goodness. This kind of communication is accurate and truthful and it evades exaggerative, discriminative and manipulative language. It thus promotes transparency in business and permit ethical operations in any business transaction. Ethical communication is said to be important, this paper evaluates the relevance of ethical communication business by focusing on ethical communication issues.
Ethical Communication as an Essential Part of Business
Business relations with the stakeholders are normally based on the information that the stakeholders have regarding the business operations and the business financial success. This is commonly experienced in the relation between a business and its investors or its customers. To foster a strong relationship, business is required to provide truthful information about its financial performance so as to enable investors to make informed decisions (Beckett, 2003, p.48). For instance, most investors would only consider investing in a company that demonstrates positive financial health and ability to perform even better in the future. They normally use the provided public company’s financial statements to make this decision.
While doing so, they expect that the company financial statements which are a form of communication to the company stakeholders were done with high level of accuracy and truthfulness. They therefore assume that the company in question employed communication ethics of being truthful and accurate while making their financial statements. Ethical communication in business helps in creating business trust which makes it easy for a business to attract customers and investors.There is actual requirement for communication managers to generally critique organization ethics initiatives so as to guarantee that they boost trust and that they are actually not forcible regimes which hide essentially unethical procedures (Beckett, 2003, p.48). When the company financial statements are accurate, the company is likely to attract a high number of investors who give value to the company’s share. Any future realization that a company lied about its financial health is likely to draw investors out in huge number and abruptly, resulting to great financial disadvantage. This is also likely to destroy the company’s reputation, making it hard for it to regain its image in the market. Such acts of unethical communication are also regarded as fraud by the law, and hence, a company is likely to attract huge legal penalties or even withdrawal of its operational license.
Communication according to Beckett (2003, p.47) is a central management function. In essence, management is the communication act, where by management processes are connected to the information receipt and its valid interpretation that yields to effective making of decision. It is therefore importance for those working in communication management to have well-based foundation of ethical perception. For instance the communication management should not alter statistical data by decreasing or increasing or by omitting some details to obtain more favourable results for one reason or another. Such acts are likely to influence the decision making process whereby instead of defining solutions to the identified problems, or instead of focusing on determining the cause of the problem, the management will focus on celebrating their positive outcome and maybe plan for further advancement and other positive move when the company records positive outcome. This may eventually results to worsening of the situation, where the company can experience what management may consider as abrupt change of events, which are considerably hard to handle or very expensive to address in unexpected situation. For instance, misleading statistics showing increase in the company market shares as a result of marketing may influence the management to continue using unproductive marketing strategy, or planning for higher revenue which may create negative consequences.
Ethical communication according to Allison (1998, p.1025) ethical communication involves respect of the person receiving the information. Respect is among the most essential value, and thus it should inform individual action toward others. In this regard ethical communication demands the messenger to check on the attitude created when passing the message. Ethical communication thus calls for avoiding language that exaggerates, discriminates, or/and manipulates others as a way of respecting others. This can highly be applied in human resources management department where the manner in which one communicate to them influence their attitude toward the organization and hence their performance. According to Allison (1998, p. 1026), managers should relate with employees not just as workers, but as full human beings. This applies when communicating to people indirectly and directly. For instance discriminative comments from supervisors and managers are disrespectful and are likely to demoralize and demotivate workers. However, appreciative comments that demonstrate their value to the organization seem to motivate them, making it easy for them to be dedicated to the organization operations and good performance. A message in ethical communication should be framed in a manner that it does not invoke negative emotions. Even critiques and correction should be put in a manner that demonstrates respect to the recipient. This is the only way to employ ethical communication to promote positive change in an organization. Nevertheless, in case a manager use humiliating and discriminative messages to workers who show negative performance, they are likely to kill their moral and making their performance to deteriorate even further.
Ethical communication is in the above analysis used to demonstrate its effectiveness in business. However, this is not always the case. The aspect of being truthful in business can sometimes result to negative outcome or poor financial results eventually. For instance, media business attracts customers based on how catchy and interesting the message or the title is and not how true it is. Thus how interest the story is plays a major role in promoting sales and hence in determining the profitability of an organization. In this case, focusing on ethical communication f being accurate and truthful may highly impact the organization performance rather than putting it in a better operational position. Thus some exaggerated facts especially among the information that is not damaging can assist the company in attracting more customers. In this case, ethical communication does not hold any importance in the company’s success (TitiloyeOyeyinka, 2013, p.91). It is also important to note that some truth are quite damaging, especially in this era of social media and other direct form of communication. Previously, the organization reputation was protected by establishing public relation office. This office helped in filtering information that can be damaging to an organization. However, today, anyone can publish information about an organization without much scrutiny. This means some true but damaging information can easily be published to the public. In this case the communication ethics of being truthful can be quite destructive and thus, it is much better not to publish it.
Communication ethics on the other hand plays a major role in promoting positive growth in an organization. Based on the analysis, an organization that embraces communication ethics is likely to be founded on providing accurate and truthful vital information that influence its relation with its stakeholders. Publication of accurate and truthful information about an organization finances is likely to build a relationship of trust between the organization and its stakeholders, which can enhance growth and prevent future flops in case the covered truth is noticed eventually. Communication ethics also nurtures respect among people in communication. This is likely to promote healthy relationship especially between workers and their supervisors, and hence promoting their commitment to the organization. This is likely to influence the organization performance positively. Giving truthful and accurate information is likely to guide managers in making the right decision regarding different aspects in an organization (Christians & Traber, p.113). This makes it easy for the organization management to solve problems in the organization and to always focus on promoting the organization wellbeing. When an organization communication management is unethical, other management departments are likely to make decision based on misleading information, an aspect that is likely to cause future chaos in the organization operations.
The analysis discusses communication ethics issues and how they influence the business. Based on the analysis, the organization can highly benefit from communication ethics while in some instances; applying these ethics can highly limit the organizations chances of growth. Communication ethics are said to promote organization stakeholders trust and enhance good relationship between the organization and its stakeholders. This also plays a great role in protecting an organization from being involved in fraud and other illegal operations as it try to improve on its profitability. Ethical communication also promotes the relationship between workers and the management and also promote decision making. However, in other instance, communication ethics can easily expose damaging company information to the public or limit company’s growth. This implies that communication ethics can results to both positive and negative impact in an organization. However, the analysis demonstrates that the positive impacts of ethical communication outweigh negative impacts and hence it is important for any business organization to embrace communication ethics.