What Are the Characteristics of an Ethical Organization?

An ethical organization exhibits a number of key characteristics, such as honesty, integrity, accountability, respect, loyalty and concern. These characteristics must be exhibited by organizational leaders and trickle down to the organization's lowest-paid workers.

Ethical workplaces feature employees who are honest and demonstrate a high level of integrity. Honesty is exhibited in employee as well as customer relationships. Integrity involves treating others in a fair and respectful manner. Managers and supervisors treat all subordinates equally in each aspect of the job. Employees put the interest of the organization above their own and refrain from detrimental behavior. Employees also hold themselves accountable for their actions and complete tasks and assignments properly and on time.

For an organization to maintain ethical standards, its leaders must always demonstrate ethical practices, which can be difficult when ethical decisions do not ensure financial profit or gain. However, leaders who do make ethically responsible decisions in these instances are more successful in creating an ethical culture within the organization. Loyalty within an organization is mutually beneficial to both employees and customers. Ethical organizations maintain loyalty to their partners even in challenging times, which results in stronger relationships when emerging from the challenge. Organizations must also have concern for those impacted by the organization and make decisions based on the effect those decisions may have on these groups of people or the environment.