Virtue ethics is a philosophy that values the acquisition of values by practice. According to virtue ethics, a virtue is a positive trait that makes human beings good and distinguishable from different people. It is through the virtue of ethics that one is able to decide between right and wrong. Honesty is among the major virtues that guide people through various life contexts in universal human nature. Virtue ethics applies to both individuals and entities; below is an analysis of the bank’s ethics.
One of the ethical concerns evident in the Cooperative Bank case is lack of honesty in the management. The Cooperative Bank management employees were dishonest especially to its board of members. Lack of proper communication and transparency led to the continuous inflated ambitions that neglected common sense. Honesty brings about transparency, giving an organization a chance to thrive without incurring internal problems (Johnson, 2018). The company’s ethical conduct in case would have been showing honesty in business practice, thus giving the board of members a chance to control how the organization thrives. It is challenging to lead an organization without accurate information and misinformation, especially from management.
Secondly, the Cooperative Bank opened up retail societies that thrived at first due to their idea of selling food at affordable prices. However, the organization lacked loyalty towards its customers especially in meeting their demands. Johnson’s (2018) research stipulated that every organization/individual should be loyal to another, especially if it involves mutual benefit. In this case, the Cooperative Bank did not follow up on customer demands; thus, customers moved to other stores. Cooperative Bank management would have monitored customer demands to ensure this was properly handled because loyalty to customers brings about profitability. In addition to this, showing customers that the company is loyal is a positive trait from an ethical point of view.
Thirdly, Cooperative Bank management could not be trusted, which defies ethical principles in which organizations thrive. Trust within this organization projects a lack of ethical leadership, leading to its downfall (Kofman, 2017). Trust is a major trait of ethical leadership that was not projected, especially in the decision to take over Britannia without undertaking due diligence. As a result of this, the bank found that Britannia assets were over-valued, thus giving the wrong impression. This shows that the leaders at the organization could not be trusted to rely on ethical leadership in making important decisions. In response to this, the organization would have embraced ethical leadership which would have prompted a closer look at the financial position of Britannia before purchasing it.
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