Work ethics: what it is, functions and examples

In the exercise of a profession, it is essential to act according to a series of ethical and moral standards which guarantee respect for people by the worker, thinking more about the common good than the individual.

The work ethic is the set of rules that establish what is good and what is not in the development of a particular professional activity. In general, breaking them only means losing the prestige and confidence of the worker who did not follow them, although there are cases where moral misconduct may involve criminal action.

We will deepen what the work ethic is and see some of the principles it is based on.

    What is the work ethic?

    Work ethics, also known as professional ethics, refers to set of rules and values ​​that serve to improve the development of activities in a workplace. These rules serve as ethical guidelines that determine what is appropriate and what is not in a work environment.

    In most cases, the work ethic of each profession is based on the universal values ​​that govern human ethics, that is, how to behave respectfully with others and with oneself.

    Ethics can be defined as the discipline responsible for studying the behavior of human beings according to rules that promote social harmony.. Based on this, we can understand that the work ethic is fundamental in every worker, because it involves the practice of values ​​such as responsibility, honesty, perseverance, justice, discretion and punctuality, for n ‘ to name a few. .

    Conflicts sometimes arise when there are discrepancies between professional and personal ethics. In these cases, individuals may take action, such as conscientious objection if they are thought to be doing the wrong thing, or being asked by the job to face their own beliefs.

      Why use professional lice?

      Work ethic determines how a professional should act in a given situation. Workers in virtually all occupations face all kinds of situations on a daily basis, some of which require moral decision-making.

      The work ethic anticipates the possible mistakes that may arise and determines what is good and what is not, both morally and ethically in the practice of a profession. Such an ethic seeks to promote the common good above the particular interests of each worker..

      Many professions and organizations have their own codes of ethics, which explicitly detail the values ​​that must be upheld in the workplace. These rules must be known to all workers in the professional field concerned.

        Characteristics of professional ethics

        We can underline several characteristics of professional ethics.

        1. Reflects the values ​​of a profession

        As we said, the work ethic is based on a set of values. Its objective is to be a guide for professionals in the exercise of their functions and actions for the benefit of the profession and society. Ethical acts involve responsibility.

        2. Sometimes specified in codes of ethics

        There are many professions and organizations that have a code of ethics. The purpose of these is make sure your professionals know for sure what is right and wrong about practicing your profession, because these codes specify the expected and unexpected behaviors of this job.

          3. It does not involve coercion

          Do not follow the rules established as part of the work ethic it is free from corporal punishment, penalties and fines, although it will always mean some loss of prestige, trust and respect for the unethical professional.

          This is different from the legal rules, which involve some kind of penalty for violation. However, when these ethical rules are specified in the code of ethics, they can be sanctioned.

            4. It is based on duties and rights

            Work ethics govern the behavior of those who practice a profession. This ethics implies duties, obligations that professionals must fulfill, but also rights, because if a professional maintains that there is something which does not correspond to what he considers correct in his ethical reflection, he must not not be forced to do so.

              The importance of this type of ethics

              Along with work ethics, it is expected that values ​​will be respected among the members of a profession. It is essential to follow this type of ethics, because it respects certain social and moral standards that promote harmony and social cohesion. By respecting ethical and moral values ​​and behavior, it contributes to the development of more just and egalitarian societies..

              Professional ethics are very important in occupations whose decisions affect the lives of other people, such as health professions, such as doctors and clinical psychologists, or others who work with sensitive information such as journalists or the lawyers. Truth, honesty and justice prevail in its codes of ethics, but also professional secrecy and confidentiality.

              Within a company, work ethic promotes harmony among members and with other organizations and clients. Organizations benefit greatly from the fact that all of their members know and act according to certain values ​​and standards, building the trust of customers and the community.

              Types of professional ethics

              As we said, each profession has its own work ethic. Below, we’ll take a look at the work ethic of some well-known jobs.

              1. Psychology

              As psychologists, we have our own codes of ethics with rules designed for the well-being of patients. Some of the values ​​of psychology are responsibility, confidentiality, and honesty.

                2. Education

                It is of vital importance for teachers to respect and develop certain ethical principles his profession is a great social responsibility in transmitting knowledge to other people.

                3. Advocacy

                In law, fundamental values ​​such as justice, honesty, diligence, loyalty and above all professional secrecy towards the client are put into practice. It also recalls the right to freedom of defense and expression.

                4. Medicine

                The medical profession is regulated by a number of values ​​and behaviors, included in the Hippocratic Oath, that any health professional. Some of its work ethic principles are respect for life and human rights, honest conduct while taking care of people and protecting their integrity from any health problem.

                5. Journalism

                Communication professionals must base their professional activity on values ​​such as truth, accuracy in information, respect, tolerance and pluralism.

                6. Engineering

                Engineers must pay particular attention to safety, public welfare and the promotion of sustainable development. These professionals can only provide services in the areas of their competence and their public statements must be truthful and objective. They must not accept bribes and demonstrate zero tolerance for fraud and corruption.

                7. Management

                There are codes in business administration that are viewed within an ethical framework. Loyalty, diligence, honesty and legality these are fundamental ethical values ​​in the exercise of this profession.

                Practical examples of the application of work ethics

                Here are some examples of ethics job.

                1. Respect for professional secrecy

                Professional secrecy is do not disclose the sources that provided certain information. This code is a key aspect of professions such as journalism, psychology and law.

                  2. Individual rights to the dissemination of information

                  These rights include the non-disclosure of information that could endanger the integrity of an individual or damage his honor, privacy or self-image.

                  3. Professional respect

                  With professional respect, we mainly refer to treating colleagues in a respectful manner and promote an atmosphere of harmony at work.

                  4. Encourage professional integration

                  Professionals should adopt techniques that help eradicate all forms of social injustice and discrimination based on race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, social group or age.

                  Bibliographical references

                  • Barça, L. (2009). Professional Ethics.
                  • Ladd, John (1991). “The search for a code of professional ethics: an intellectual and moral confusion. To Johnson, Deborah G. (ed.). Ethical aspects in engineering. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-290578-7. OCLC 851033915
                  • Flores, Albert (1998). “The Philosophical Basis of Engineering Codes”. In Vesilind, P. Aarne; Gunn, Alastair S. (ed.). Ethical and environmental engineering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pages 201-209. ISBN 978-0-521-58112-7. OCLC 300458305

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