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Throughout the past several years, ethics has made its way into business headlines, more often than not for bad rather than good. What people may be surprised to know though is that to get an organization to behave in ethical ways, it takes more than good people seeking to do good. It takes more than rules of conduct. Ethical behavior is what is shaped day in and day out by unintended consequences that occur as work is done. To "be ethical" requires a very deliberate focus on the impact, not the intention, of actions. It is also a clear-eyed review of how behavior got going to begin with and the unethical effects on the organization. It requires looking ahead at impact, not what has happened but what could happen and evaluating the degree of harm or good such impact could have. There are things that each of us can do to contribute to a stronger ethical workplace. The best way to protect you and your organization is to understand how consequences increase or decrease the likely occurrence of certain kinds of behavior now and in the future. Here are a few suggestions:
Be alert to what the longer term effects of consequences are for individuals and for the culture of an organization. The ethical traps, unintended consequences, are easy to fall into and none of us are immune from the fall.
"A Good Day's Work" book by Dr. Darnell Lattal and Dr. Ralph Clark
The following course meets the requirements for 3.5 Type 2 BACB® CE: Ethical Decision Making
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