Baldrige Education Glossary: Ethical Behavior

Ethical Behavior

The term “ethical behavior” refers to how an organization ensures that all its decisions, actions, and stakeholder interactions conform to the organization’s moral and professional principles. These principles should support all applicable laws and regulations and are the foundation for the organization’s culture and values. They distinguish “right” from “wrong.”

Senior leaders should act as role models for these principles of behavior. The principles apply to all people involved in the organization, from volunteers and independent practitioners to members of the board of directors, and need to be communicated and reinforced on a regular basis. Although there is no universal model for ethical behavior, senior leaders should ensure that the organization’s mission and vision are aligned with its ethical principles. Ethical behavior should be practiced with all stakeholders, including the workforce, students and other customers, partners, suppliers, and the organization’s local community.

While some organizations may view their ethical principles as boundary conditions restricting behavior, well-designed and clearly articulated ethical principles should empower people to make effective decisions with great confidence.

Note: Blue words above are hyperlinks to other Glossary terms.



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