No, I would not steal the $10,000. Stealing from the firm raises costs, which reduces supply, raises price, and cuts demand. Stealing affects the business and consumers. In a company, owners and managers are responsible for imposing and enforcing checks and balances within the environments to protect patients, staff, and assets from theft and manipulation. When you steal, it’s important to also consider the motives or intentions. For example if I stole the $10,000 to help my son’s failed ambulance business, the big picture emerges: A mom helping her son, a family business, and ambulances saving people’s lives, the world a better place. Ethically it is hard to blame me for repurposing the money to a worthy cause. However, stealing is still considered stealing: a behavior that is unethical and can majorly hurt the business. The results of stealing can cripple a company’s finances Indeed, checks and balances are important preventive measures put in place to protect people from making bad choices and create a reliable, trusting environment.
The results of stealing can cripple a company’s finances. It also misrepresents to their customers and the public that the employees how much time they’ve worked to fool an employer. The devious practice amounts to stealing, and employees typically should be fired for such unethical behavior. At the very least, business owners should meet offenders immediately and publicly to prevent others from following their example. Moreover, this means that employees feel that the system set in place is not fair. Additionally, when the employee is compelled to violate policies there may already be others doing the same thing. Oftentimes the employees were taught in their rearing to maximize and advance their own self interests. A critical ethical issue for businesses and organizations, then, is the protection and use of intellectual property. There always has been a sense of trust and an implicit understanding that what one does with someone else’s time and money is owned by the party that paid for that service.
Workplace theft is most applicable to the concept of consequentialism and its sub-concepts. Thiroux and Krasemann (2012) define consequentialism in two parts ethical egoism and utilitarianism. Moreover, ethical egoist operate in their own self-interests. They further convey that ethical egoism can take on three possible forms described with the following:
Individual ethical egoism, which states that everyone ought to act in my own best self-interest.
Personal ethical egoism, which states that I ought to act in my own (2) self-interest, but make no claims about what anyone else ought to do.
Universal ethical egoism, which states as its basic principle that everyone should always act in his or her own best self-interest, regardless of the interests of others, unless their interests also serve his or hers
In general, professions are not well served by instances of moral and/or ethical failure. The ripple effects of such failures tend to reach consumers, who react by complaining. Complaints get the attention of agencies, which in turn react by applying scrutiny to the profession. Life gets really rough when Government agencies move from scrutiny to regulations and investigations of the profession and its members.
Bad behavior is often described as “morally and ethically wrong.” But do people know the difference between moral and ethical? Somewhat tautological, it turns out that morals are beliefs and ethics are “advanced expressions of morality” based on consistent reasoning.
The task of examining ethics is challenging in a public setting. Furthermore, these kinds of employees have various ‘rights’ such as tenure and certain types of job protected statuses. Extreme due diligence should be taken to assess the presumably ethical or immoral behavior to insure that the dilemma is framed in the best manner in order to yield the most proper solutions.
Since employee theft is both commonplace and costly, small business owners should take several steps to curb employee theft. Some of these steps are inexpensive and easy to impose, while others require greater investments of time and money. All should be weighed by entrepreneurs interested in shoring up their internal security systems.
Ensure that appropriate business ethics are practiced at the top levels of the company. Business owners and supervisors are role models for their employees, and if they want their workforce to behave honestly, they will have to do so as well in both their internal and external dealings. “Despite the widespread existence of official corporate ethics policies, the impression that management will bend certain rules or look the other way in the name of expediency has an undeniable trickle-down effect,” wrote Ingram.
Establish a clear policy on theft and security and distribute it to all employees. This policy should make it clear that the company has a zero-tolerance policy on theft and that any employee—including executives and managers—who violates it will be terminated. In addition, many consultants believe that written policy statements on drug and alcohol use can be effective in curbing internal theft, since abuse of those substances is a leading cause of employee fraud and theft.
Hiring policies should be shored up to better ensure that honest employees are brought on board. “When job applicants are asked directly about theft and drug use, they tend to admit to such behavior both on and off the job,” confirmed one researcher in an interview with Small Business Reports. But while a surprising percentage of applicants will admit to dishonest behavior during such screenings, others will lie. This reality makes it very important for small business owners to conduct thorough checks on the references of prospective new hires as well as checks on their educational credentials and criminal history.
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