The last level of ethical issues is personal issues. These deal with how we treat others within our
organization. For example, gossiping at work or taking credit for another’s work would be considered
personal issues. As an employee of an organization, we may not have as much control over societal and
stakeholder issues, but certainly we have control over the personal issues level of ethics. This includes
“doing the right thing.” Doing the right thing affects our human relations in that if we are shown to be
trustworthy when making ethical decisions, it is more likely we can be promoted, or at the very least, earn
respect from our colleagues. Without this respect, our human relations with coworkers can be impacted
One of the biggest ethical challenges in the workplace is when our company’s ethics do not meet our own
personal ethics. For example, suppose you believe strongly that child labor should not be used to produce
clothing. You find out, however, that your company uses child labor in China to produce 10 percent of
your products. In this case, your personal values do not meet the societal and stakeholder values you find
important. This kind of difference in values can create challenges working in a particular organization.
When choosing the company or business we work for, it is important to make sure there is a match
between our personal values and the values within the organization.