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Ethics and Responsible Management

It is said that one can teach responsibility management only to the person who knows and
understands the codes of ethics, but to understand the ethics it is important that the
complementary terms - values and morals, have to be understood.
The takeaways from the class about ethics, morals and values is that they all provide
behavioural rules but there are very fine differences like splitting hairs in between them.
Simply put morals are personal behaviours while ethics are more of philosophical.

For an instance let me consider one of the case which was discussed in class Building a
Backdoor to the iPhone: An Ethical Dilemma by Tulsi Jayakumar and Surya Tahora. In this
case Tim Cook, Apples chief executive officer was asked to create a Backdoor to the iPhone
security system which FBI can use to hack any persons phone and can anytime read his/her
confidential/personal data. But Tim Cook disagreed to this by saying such a system is against
its companys values, and Apple always stood by its values so it will not create a backdoor.

In the above case the reason for the disagreement may have been the value based i.e. Cook
and Apple always stood for the security and confidentiality of its customers and its value
statement is states the same. But for FBI is driven more by its ethical standards than morals
and values. And their ethical standards are to utilise any mode of conduct which can get
them to the solution even if the community people feels it to be morally wrong or
unacceptable. It is a case where one can say that FBI is morally wrong, but for a person or a
group such as FBI first comes their values and their values are aligned with their companys
ethics. Hence this case also highlights how ones individual companys values can intrude
into ones professional lives and potentially cause us to ignore moral obligations and duties.
In other words, this is an example of the conflict between ones values and ones ethics
where Tim Cooks values caused him to ignore the codes of ethics of even the FBI.

To Summarize, Ethics, Morals and Values can be described in literal terms as below,
Ethics
It describes a generally accepted set of moral principles which tend to be codified into a
formal system or set of rules which are explicitly adopted by a person or a group of people.
Morals
It describes the general goodness or badness or right or wrong actions. And they are far
more about good and bad than other values. In short it is the motivation based on ideas of
right and wrong.

Values - It describes individual or personal standards of what is valuable or important i.e.


they are the rules which aligns with ones expectations or goals by which one make
decisions about right or wrong. Values usually includes emotions and sentiments with them.

In short one would always have his/her moral standards, but at the end of the day one
makes ones decisions on the basis of his/her Ethics and Values.