Moral philosophies have a tremendous impact on decision-making for leaders with an organization. Business ethics cannot be overlooked by any organization because it is something that makes it what it is. There is a thin line between the moral conduct of an organization and its leaders that make critical decisions for it. Philosophies are extremely important to the business environment of any organization. They allow leaders and regular staff employees to evaluate situations and make decisions based on their moral judgment which often times collides with the majority of a particular company. Every individual has their right to feel a certain way about issues that arise within a company but the difficulty arrives when they make decisions that go against the company’s code of conduct, standards, and guidelines. There are a variety of different moral philosophies that have been developed throughout the years; some have a strong support by many while others don’t.
When individuals take on a particular moral philosophy; consciously or unconsciously, the philosophy can quickly influence their behaviors and decision-making. What happens is a person taking on certain characteristics of moral philosophies begins to strategize on ways to carry it out relentlessly, pushing aside any organizational obstacles that stand in their way. Those exhibiting this behavior will also look to see how their particular moral philosophy can help them come to a decision which will primarily benefit them and not necessarily the organization as a whole.
Culture plays an important part in how moral philosophies impact global strategic planning. When a company attempts to gain more of a market share in their industry they have to consider different cultures, and how individuals within different countries might arrive at various decisions based on their moral philosophies. For example, a leader or a group of leaders from Russia will most likely have their own cultural views about an issue and when they apply a moral philosophy it will allow that leader or group to plan strategically. Another thing to consider is that moral philosophies might look different across various cultures in business.
Swaidan, Rawwas, M. Y. A., & Vitell had this to say: “Understanding the relationship between culture and personal moral philosophies is a major challenge for global marketers. A greater understanding of how culture influences moral philosophies will allow firms to develop better global marketing strategies. This study examines the relationship between Hofstede's four dimensions of culture (i.e., collectivism/individualism, masculinity/femininity, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance) and the two dimensions of Forsyth's (1992) personal moral philosophies (i.e., idealism and relativism) using a U.S. sample from the African-American ethnic minority. Hofstede defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another" (1991, p. 5). Christie et al. (2003) found that culture has a strong influence on consumers' ethical attitudes” (Swaidan, Rawwas, M. Y. A., & Vitell, 2008).
Companies can allow their leaders to share different moral philosophies they have used to make decisions in the past and bring these topics up in meetings to discuss as a larger group. In addition top level members of management can take the chance to see what moral philosophies they all agree with as a whole and integrate certain pieces of each one to bring more effectiveness to the organization as a whole. They could also make it a standard practice to incorporate new or existing moral philosophies as part of their code of conduct regarding ethical issues that arise in the business.
Google is an excellent example of a company that uses moral philosophies to run their organization and deal with contractors, business partners, and their employees. Normative ethics would be the best way to describe their form of moral philosophy that the organization follows as a whole, since this particular philosophy focuses on the right and wrong of the actions of an individual. Google has been extremely successful by using this approach for the betterment of its customers enjoying the services that are offered. Since having a business relationship or being employed by Google is such a prestigious accomplishment the individuals provided the chance keep the code of conduct for fear of being caught off from future projects and employment by the organization.
The following was taken directly from the Google’s website: “The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put “Don’t be evil” into practice. It’s built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. We set the bar that high for practical as well as aspirational reasons: Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Trust and mutual respect among employees and users are the foundation of our success, and they are something we need to earn every day. So please do read the Code, and follow both its spirit and letter, always bearing in mind that each of us has a personal responsibility to incorporate, and to encourage other Googlers to incorporate, the principles of the Code into our work. And if you have a question or ever think that one of your fellow Googlers or the company as a whole may be falling short of our commitment, don’t be silent. We want – and need – to hear from you” (Google.com, 2013).