ProfessionalCodes of Ethics
ProfessionalCodes of Ethics
Professionalcode of conduct or the professional code of ethics is a set of rule,guidelines and principles that guide professional practice. These arethe guiding principles that define the profession in terms of theirway of practice and provision of service. In this way, professionalcode of conduct, act as the main paths that guide a qualified personin a profession. These codes of conduct are specific from professionto profession and are specific to the role that the profession playsin an organization are the world. This paper takes the case ofthe Instituteof Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)to discuss the importance of professional codes of conduct.In addition, this paper will explore how professional codes of ethicsinfluence the work practice of a profession.
Importanceof Professional Codes
Professionalcode of ethics provides the standards that that a profession will beobserved in the course of providing the professional service. Theyprovide the levels of quality of work that professionals shouldoffer. This means that there is a certain target that each of theprofessionals in a professional body are supposed to meet in terms ofquality of service. The standards provided by the professional codesof conduct help a professional to relate well with the expectationsof quality levels by his or her employer (Poel& Royakkers, 2011).This means that professional codes of ethics are the maindeterminants of the quality of service compared to organizationalstandards.
Inany profession, there are clear standards that are set out by boththe professional bodies and the various organizations. Thesedifferent standards are set to guide the relationship betweenthe professionaland the organization or the employees (Fleddermann,2011).For instance, engineers are professionals with such standards thatguide their operations. The standards guide their operations on howthey handle people, work problems as well as work challenges. Forinstance, these standards regulate the issues of confidentiality ofclient information, observance of procedures and delivering on work(Flores, 1998).These aspects of work and operations are mostly addressed in the codeof conduct, especially during the determination of the extent ofassociation with various players in a profession’s career.
Inaddition, professional codes of conduct provide a base ofstandardization for the service provided by professionals of acertain body. This leads to the provision of almost the same qualityand type of service by all professionals in the world (Fleddermann,2011).For instance, the IEEE provides dear customer, professional codes ofethics that are meant to ensure that each of the members of theprofessional body practice in a certain way. This leads to astandardization that leaves the professionals belonging to IEEE tohave a common way of doing things and delivering on processes (IEEE,n.d). Through this standardization, there is no difference betweenthe works of engineering provided by one engineer in one part of theworld with another in another country.
Professionalcodes of ethics promote transparency and accountability atindividual, organizational and public levels. Through the practice ofprofessional codes of ethics, professionals are able to learn abouthow to adhere to the way things should be done. For instance, throughthe following of the IEEE professional codes of conduct, an engineeris held accountable by the standards that are pre-determined (IEEE,n.d). This is because a professional will know in advance of theexpectations of all the tasks that are to be done, and therefore willbe prepared for accountability (Fleddermann,2011).This is because the professional codes of ethics become the firstlevel of accountability to his work and organization. Through thecodes of ethics provided by IEEE, engineers find a basis foraccountability and transparency in their professional practice.
Inaddition, professional codes of ethics provide the basis offormulating frameworks for accountability and transparency. This isbecause all organizations are committed to the promotion oftransparency and accountability as a way of protecting organizationalresources. The observation of professional codes of conduct alsohelps organizations to establish their own standards that all workersshould practice (Fleddermann,2011).This helps the organization, instill a culture of following rules andguidelines of its code of conduct and the professional practiceguidelines. For instance, an engineering firm will use theprofessional guidelines and codes of ethics provided by the IEEE toestablish its organizational engineering rules and regulations (Ladd,1991).This is because such guidelines cannot contravene those provided bythe professional body.
Professionalcodes of ethics help workers in different professional orientationsand occupations to grow their careers. This is because professionalbodies promote the expected way of professional conduct that in turnshapes the professional orientation of a person. In addition,professional codes of ethics help a person to make decisionsprofessionally and influence the organization (Poel& Royakkers, 2011).This creates a higher personality in the professional and build toestablish respect and integrity at the place of work. For instance,an engineer who follows the IEEE codes of conduct is respected andtaken with higher stature at the place of work (Ladd,1991).This is because adherence to the professional codes of conduct isaimed at the development of the person as a whole.
Inaddition, professional codes of ethics promote sound professionalgrowth and the development of personal operational performance. Thisis because professional ethics enable workers to perform their tasksin the most prudent manner. By following the professional codes ofethics provided by the IEEE, an engineer will be able to establishhis or her way of performance based on the recommended practices(Flores,1998).This promotes the development of the operational experience of suchengineers due to their commitment to the professional guidelines.Through the development of their performance and operationalexpertise, they are able to guide other young professionals to thesame adherence to professionalism. This way, an expansive developmentof the professional growth is promoted.
Inaddition to professional development, professional codes of ethicsprovide all workers with the basis for evaluating situations in theirprofessional practice. Professional codes of ethics offer the basisfor deciding on the controversial situations (Michael,2002).In most cases, organizational guidelines do not offer the rightrecommendations. Many organizational guidelines provide insufficientand inadequate guidelines for making decisions in certaincontroversial decisions. In fact, some organizations even call forthe alteration of professional codes of ethics so as to fit withtheir organizational interests that are sometimes not ethical.
Makingethical decisions and choices can only be shaped by professionalcodes of ethics since they directly relate to ethics and morality. Inmany organizations, professionalism is not adhered to especially whenmanagers and administrators are not committed to professional codesof ethics. This is in particular important when situations facingprofessionals need a choice between doing the right thing or what theorganization wants, which is mostly wrong (Davidson,2012).
Finally,professional codes of ethics help an organization and individualsalike to develop strong organizational culture. Through the use ofprofessional codes of ethics, all employees of an organization becomecommitted to the professionalism that is set outside theorganization. This is because continuous adherence of professionalcodes of ethics creates a trend of integrity and transparency(Fleddermann,2011).Development of such trends leads to a consistent formulation of aculture. This means that new employees will define theprofessionalism of the organization through the trends and culture ofthe previous members of the organization to observe professionalcodes of ethics.
Impacton Work Issues
Theprinciples by the IEEE ethics code are important in giving guidancewhen making ethical decisions in psychology circumstances andsituations. These principles and ethical codes, shape my decisionmaking process in my area of management of projects relating toengineering and administrative issues. This is because in the processof making decisions in these areas, my professional behavior alwaysconsiders the ethics code besides the applicable laws as well asengineering regulations (Flores, 1998). In many instances, theprofessional ethics code may establish higher standards than thoserequired by the related law. In such a case, it is my professionalresponsibility to meet the higher engineer’s ethical standards(Michael,2002).
Whenapproaching clients with professional issues, engineering and projectmanagement issues, these codes of ethics guide in the language andchoice of terms to use. These principles guide in maintainingconfidentiality of their information which is sensitive to theirbusinesses or projects (Michael,2002). It is my ethical practiceto follow these principles in the course of my practice, especiallywhen handling clients’ unique situations. These are situations thatrequire my personal preferences and professional judgments that seemto influence my decision making processes. These principles andethical standards help me in maintaining objectivity while makingdecisions to avoid prejudice which affects the decisions that I makefor clients.
Insome cases in the practice, these principles tend to be compromisedby client situation or my response to particular engineering oradministrative concerns. For example a customer or an employee mayapproach me requesting a favor that is against my professional codesof ethics. According to Davidson(2012), the dilemma is whether todo what the situation calls for and avoid controversies or is to dothe right thing according to a professional code of conduct. I am,however forced to act professionally and practice what theprofessional ethics requires. In such circumstances, it takes myrealization of the ethical demands to handle the situation and avoidcompromising judgments and adopt objective engineering and managementdecisions.
Asthe main sets of guidelines that guide professionals, professionalcodes of ethics are important in determining the ethical ways ofconduct. Professional codes of ethics provide a basis through whichprofessionals make decisions in controversial situations whileprovide the management with a basis of formulating organizationalframeworks. In addition, professional codes of ethics helpprofessional to grow in their operational expertise and lead toestablishment of integrity and personality. This promotesprofessional growth and development of the same to new employees.Moreover, professional codes of ethics help organizations toestablish organizational cultures that are based on accountabilityand transparency.
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