Ethical transformation is the opposite extreme of the ethic of consonance. It implies recognizing that there are problems, bad practices, and that different solutions are needed than those that have traditionally been applied.
The ethic of consonance, on the contrary, advertising attacks corruption, but in fact maintains it because it admits the coexistence of different and conflicting codes of ethics. He presents them as a unit of matter and in fact does not blush in the face of corruption and encourages it in practice.
Thus, it is necessary to make clear that it is about ethical transformation, which does not mean transforming ethics since ethics, historically, does not admit ambivalence.
In the line of ethical transformation, three articles published in the March 2019 edition of the Accountancy South Africa (ASA) magazine stand out, which highlight why ethical transformation matters.
Why ethics matters
The first article, entitled “Why Ethics Matters“, has Monique Verduyn as its author.
Emphasizes that ethical transformation is critical. Adds that the first step is acknowledging ethics and values as important and making the decision to prioritise it above the bottom line. This it has to come from the top.
Recognize that the staggering and signigicant news regarding to corrupt activities involving the private and public sectors, including companies and their auditors, should make the accounting profession rescue itself and find the credibility and solutions it desperately needs.
“But therein lies a vexed question: Ethics is concerned with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous and non-virtuous characteristics of people. But culture and the expectations within cultures affect all business transactions. Two different ethical standards meeting in a business transaction can result in conflict. In some cultures, bribery is part of the fabric of life and no business can be transacted without it. In others, bribery is unacceptable. Yet a big problem in dealing with culture is that it is difficult to define universally” (Pg. 28)
Ethical for the fourth industrial revolution
The second article, titled “How do we build an ethical framework for the fourth industrial revolution?”, has by authors Hilary Sutcliffe and Anne-Marie Allgrove
Affirms that the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are transforming society and reshaping our future.
“The possibilities for human empowerment brought by technology are immense, but we need to focus on the impact of technologies on people, their everyday lives and their enjoyment of human rights.” (Pg. 33)
The third article, titled “Workplace ethics: saying and doing beyond mere compliance” has Cynthia Schoeman as it autor.
“To avoid the risks and negative consequences of ethical gaps, there needs to be an alignment between what is said and done within the organisation. Saying and doing need to be focused on what’s right for the business, its people and its stakeholders.” (Pg. 34)
The reason for this, it adds, is that the gaps between what is said done are very destructive in an organization, eroding trust and respect, and undermining ethical standards.
According to my personal perception, there is a horizon of hope.
Ethical transformation matters and is necessary.
In spite of those who prefer to cling to apply two or more different codes of ethics.
Because the fight against corruption must be more than an advertising tool, in order to be affective.
What is your conclusion, dear reader?