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In the workplace, there are certain rules that you need to follow and certain rules that indirectly impose the things that you should not do. Also, there are certain boundaries that are set and policies that are implemented to regulate what a worker can do in his workplace. This is only a part of what ethical behaviour is about. Furthermore, different institutions and organizations have their own set of rules, ethical codes of behaviour. And these rules are not to be violated.
Looking back, what is ethics? McNamara (nd.) said that it is learning to distinguish what is right or what is wrong. This is doing what is right and not doing what is wrong. Furthermore, ethical behaviour benefits the institution. This makes the workplace full of respect and responsibility because of the respect and responsibility of each individual with each other.
Where does this ethical behaviour come from? Understanding the theories behind ethical behaviour makes us aware of how these norms came to exist. Philosophers studied why and when did people act ethically. They formulated theories explaining the origins of this ethical behaviour.
Peter (2006) reported that one theory behind ethical behaviour explains that people act ethically because they are afraid of punishment. If there are no penalties, they believe that they can do whatever they want. But this explanation has flaws and it does not support why some people are immoral even if they grew in a place where ethics is supposed to be followed. It does not follow the fact that some people tend to do things that are unethical. For example, taking advantage of other people even though they know that there is a big chance of receiving punishments.
Another theory was discussed by Dennett (2006), that ethical behaviour came from societal evolutions. This came from the fact that societies evolve and flourish. Constituting these societies are practices, culture, and customs that survived and flourished. Also, it was argued that, a society that has ethical behaviour that is present in the system tends to survive and those societies that act unethically are weaker than ethical societies.
From this theory, Peter (2006) discussed that these behaviour or code that we consider as ethical was selected by an evolutionary process to be beneficial to a system as a whole. Also, that ethics in a society is equal to the success of that society as a whole. Furthermore, Peter (2006) also argued that if ethical behaviour benefits the society and not the individual, why do people act ethically? He said that ethical behaviour came to us since we are born. It is a kind of gentle indoctrination. We are surrounded by the pressures to act ethically since birth. From the moment we are born, we are guided by people who act ethically, then eventually, we became ethical ourselves.