Sample Business Paper on Ethical Decision Making and Hiring


Businesses or organizations should have a set of standard rules or principles that guide their daily activities. These sets of standard rules are determined by the code of ethics and code of conduct. The code of ethics is the moral standard that employees are required to follow, while the code of conduct is a central guide or reference that supports employees’ decision-making processes. This paper outlines the purpose, importance, and differences between the code of ethics and code of conduct and the factors that may influence the ethical hiring decision-making process.


Ethical Decision Making and Hiring

Every business or organization should have a set of standard rules, such as a code of ethics or code of conduct that drives the firm’s mission forward. Though they are two different concepts, the code of ethics and code of conduct often work hand in hand to become a single guiding principle to a business or an organization. The principles guide employees, such as human resource managers, to make better ethical hiring decisions by taking into consideration various factors such as labor laws and compliance practices, as well as experience.

The code of ethics is defined as a moral standard that employees are often required to follow in a given organization. At a minimum, ethics guidelines are established by the law and organization’s regulations. Businesses are also allowed to exceed the minimum ethic principles to ensure that they maintain the safety of their employees, and ensure that the employees’ rights are respected. The code of ethics in every organization acts as a central guide to employees to conduct their daily activities with honesty and integrity (Snelling, 2016). The concept is important as it communicates to employees that the organization is committed to doing business responsibly. As such, the code of ethics shows the employees the firm’s standards and expectations. The concept shows customers that an organization values integrity and is committed to operating accordingly in business. The concept also provides a clear reference to corrective actions or termination of contracts for employees who do not adhere to the organizational standards.

The code of conduct is referred to as a central guide and references for employees in supporting their daily decision making. The purpose of the code of conduct is to guide employees on how they are expected to behave within an organization. The concept is important as it guides employees on how to behave at their workplace (Rezaee, Elmore & Szendi, 2001). It outlines the proper dressing code for employees whenever they go to their workplaces. The code of conduct also ensures career growth to employees and benefits the organization in the long run. The organization may benefit from effective work and communication flow when the employees understand how they are expected to behave within the work setting.

The two concepts are often confused by many or used interchangeably by various businesses or organizations. Both concepts are similar as they attempt to encourage specific forms of behavior from a firm’s employees. Code of ethics attempts to demonstrate values that employees are needed to follow, whereas a code of conduct attempts to address that specific actions are appropriate or inappropriate within an organization. All organizations desire to maintain acceptable behaviors from their employees. A major difference between the two concepts is that the code of ethics emphasizes an organization’s mission, values, and expectations for its members, whereas the code of conduct is designed to translate the code of ethics into specific do and not do principles (Gilman, 2005). Another difference is that a code of ethics is used to guide decision making in all areas of employee behavior, whereas the code of conduct is only focused on specific problems or incidents that composers feel are relevant and should be put in the code.

Ethical morals are values that are acceptable within organizations and society at large. Employees are mandated to adhere to an organization’s values and standards while a human resource manager is ethically bound to oversee the hiring or recruitment process with honesty, objectivity, and consistency (Snelling, 2016). To oversee the hiring process, some of the factors that would influence my decision-making processes are labor laws and compliance practices and employee experience. Any action in an organizational context must be guided by a legal framework. Knowing labor laws and compliance practices is essential as they would guide me to recruit employees according to the organization’s hiring regulations and standards. Furthermore, experience is an important factor to consider when hiring employees into an organization. I would hire an individual who has shown success in similar jobs and is probably able to replicate his/her success at the company. Thus, I would not base my decision-making process only on who is the most experienced on paper. Rather, I would emphasize personal skills the employee might have acquired from the previous jobs.

Businesses or organizations should establish and implement a set of standard rules such as a code of ethics and a code of conduct to guide them in achieving their objectives. The code of ethics guides the employees on how they should ethically conduct daily organizational activities. The code of conduct guides the employees on the way they should behave within the organization’s premises. Human resource managers need to use these sets of standard rules whenever they are making ethical hiring decisions to ensure that the organization achieves its goals.



Gilman, S. C. (2005). Ethics Codes and Codes of Conduct as Tools for Promoting an Ethical and Professional Public Service: Comparative Successes and Lessons. Washington DC. Retrieved from

Rezaee, Z., Elmore, R. C., & Szendi, J. Z. (2001). Ethical behavior in higher educational institutions: The role of the code of conduct. Journal of business ethics, 30(2), 171-183. Retrieved from

Snelling, P. C. (2016). The metaethics of nursing codes of ethics and conduct. Nursing Philosophy, 17(4), 229-249. Retrieved from