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Absolute and Relative Ethics

Absolute ethics refers to the set standards against which moral questions are judged to determine whether actions are either right or wrong in regard to the context at hand. Relative ethics, on the other hand, refers to the theory that holds the morality of practices of a particular culture. These ethics and values are used to uphold law enforcement in organizations as well as to determine how activities are carried out.

They strongly affect decision-making and help identify the areas that need extra emphasis. Patricia and McGee (2014) claimed that these ethical practices include: hard work, honesty, bravery, integrity, and compassion, among others. All workers must uphold these values regardless of the positions they hold in the organization. This will help improve how things are run while creating a mutual understanding amongst all members of the organization.

Top management (managers and supervisors) should be on the front line to maintain ethical practices and integrity in the organization. They can ensure this by:

Encouraging and promoting partnership, collaboration, and teamwork

To create a good office, managers and supervisors should advocate highly on cooperation, partnership, and collaboration amongst all workers. This will reduce isolation and build connections that will promote awareness and help their employees understand all the pressures and challenges that are associated with their jobs.

The managers and supervisors should ‘walk the talk.’

It will be easier for their juniors to follow in their footsteps only if they practice what they teach. This will create an environment where the employees can raise their concerns without the fear of being judged or punished. According to Klockars (2006), the maintenance of laws and regulations and ensuring they are held to the core will help maintain integrity in the working environment.

Setting the right tone for communication.

This is the key that holds the favorable climate of ethics and integrity. Employees look up to their managers and supervisors and connect through communication. Creating and understanding the form of communication. Communicating the importance of ethics and integrity in their work will help the employees recognize inconsistencies between stated organizational values and leadership practices.

  1. Empower employees
  2. Create and code of conduct around the working area and review it continuously.

Illegal officer behaviors that the supervisors must address

Kelman and Hamilton (1989) unethical behaviors by many officers have become very common in organizations, and it is up to supervisors to address these issues before it is too late to handle them. These include:

Misuse of time

‘Stealing” working time and using it for personal use is very unethical. Time may be used gossiping unnecessarily, aimless internet surfing, or coming into work late.

Sexual harassment and bullying

Some offices tend to harass their co-workers sexually by touching them inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances.

Illegal Acts

These may include being involved in corruption activities, embezzlement of funds or committing identity theft of other employees.


Kelman, C. & Hamilton, V. (1989). Crimes of Obedience

Klockars, B (2006) Enhancing Police Ethics.

Patricia, G. & McGhee, P. (2014) Business Ethics: A European Review 23 (2):125-138.



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