What Is Ethical Responsibility?

Blend Images/ERproductions Ltd/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Ethical responsibility means following a moral path. Individuals have an ethical responsibility to friends and family, and businesses are obligated to promote ethics in the workplace. Medical personnel, such as nurses, also follow moral responsibilities.

Nurses are bound by such principles as demonstrating compassion and respecting coworkers. A nurse must also be an advocate for the patient, including the promotion of safety and upholding privacy rights. They must be active in communities and work with other staff members to strengthen the welfare of a community.

Company representatives also play a role in the community by helping out in soup kitchens or participating in charitable events. Another example of ethical responsibility in the business world is taking the time to conduct more testing on a product instead shipping it in a hurry to meet a deadline. A company must establish ethical guidelines for everyone to follow. Transparency with customers, suppliers and employees maintains a company’s reputation.

A bad reputation affects big and small companies, and it affects revenue streams. Customers are less likely to buy products from a company that has an unscrupulous reputation, such as polluting the environment. Another example of breaching ethical responsibility is using company funds to pay for individual debts. Ethical responsibilities are crucial during times of hardship because there is often a temptation to neglect moral principles for the sake of expediency.