1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Worldwide, changes are taking place tremendously. One change is affecting all countries around the world including Nigeria. Some scholars urge that the only thing that is permanent in life is change. No situation is permanent in life. Thus, the Nigerian work environment has become liable to change, considering the dynamic and complex issues that are faced daily. The emerging trend in work that is beginning to serve as a mark of merit or critical edge is the level of workplace ethics that is dwelling within an organization. In the face of the emerging world economy, an organization that is involved in a proper framework for good governance must practice work ethics and incorporate good values as part of its organizational culture if it must achieve higher performance (Omisore et al, 2015). In a present world, work ethics has been an interesting subject in management and business in general, due to its importance in evaluating employees’ behavior and performance and it is so critical to organizational performance (Schminke et al. 2015). Companies and institutions all over the world, both public and private maintain codes of corporate governance for managing ethical performance (Rossouw, 2015). Despite its importance still no single organization is safe from corporate scandals (Samir et al; 2015), in years malpractices have been observed in organizations which go beyond legal and ethical context. It has been argued that non observance or non existence of some set of ethical values have been a contributory factor to the Africa predicaments in leaderships in most African states (Agbude & Etete, 2013). For instance the country has faced corporate failures on banking sector in 1997, 26 commercial banks failed due to financial irregularities such as AfriBank Plc and Bank PHB (Bello, 2012).
Purposeful actions in a proactive manner are required of contemporary organizations to achieve desired level of performance from workers with cognizance to the acceptable norms and best practices in the industry they belong too and country of operation. In the words of Schminke et al (2015), one of such action known as ethics is increasing, with work ethics as one of such actions that can bring about the desired performance level of employees job performance, irrespective of the sharp practices and unethical work practices of competitors in the business environment. However, there is perceived decline in work ethic, an evidence of this is well established in the integrity violations by many employees in our contemporary work organizations. Issues of fraud, theft, corruption, manipulation of information, misconduct, and the likes are well reported now. Notable scholars are of the opinion that to remain market a leader or become industry champion, ethical behavior must be institutionalized (Schminke, Arnaud and Kuenzi, 2015).
The performance of an organization is sometimes based on the ethical work climate. Ethical work climate reflects the collective moral reasoning of organization members. Thus, strong ethical climate provides employees a foundation for thinking about moral issues. Although organization members may reason effectively about the right thing to do, translating reason into action depends on the moderating effect of two additional contextual factors; collective moral emotion (in the form of collective empathy) and collective ethical efficacy. Furthermore, the moral reasoning reflected in ethical climate is more likely to translate to ethical behaviour if members: (i) Care about those impacted by their actions (empathy). (ii) Believe in their ability to successfully follow through in their decision (efficacy). Thus, ethical climate, collective moral emotion and collective ethical efficacy interact to create an environment more strongly related to ethical behavior. Ethical behavior is characterized by honesty, fairness and equity in interpersonal and professional relationship and it respects the dignity, diversity and the right of individual and groups of people. Therefore for an organization to move forward in the aspect of performance, it is important to have a good understanding of ethics and also take it seriously as this can undermine the competitive strength of the organization and the society at large (Harrington, 2011)
Geetu (2013) reveals that organization cannot ignore ethics. Indeed for some ethics has been added to their corporate values. But help is needed by organization to integrate ethical practices and competencies, but initially this requires an increased and shared understanding of ethics in organizations. Numerous researchers suggest that organizational ethics is a major influence in ensuring the attainment of organization objectives. Marri, Sadozai, Zaman & Ramay (2012) opine that, work ethics facilitate employees’ attitude towards hard work and their organization too. To guarantee employees job performance, such employee must have displayed a high sense of responsibility, integrity, discipline, quality, and sense of team work. Some argue that any of such conducts are limited just to the job description and responsibilities. Others argue, though, that they also have ethical responsibilities towards the organization by ensuring its continued survival. The above considerations show that workplace ethics have a big role to play in the organization setting to drive the performance of the organization, though there are matters to be dealt with critically to make it vital. Therefore, this study discusses the effect of work ethics on workers job performance level.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In this era of globalization and multinational competition, ethical practices in business are assuming importance as relationships with various suppliers and customers are shaped by ethical practices and mutual trust. Therefore, ethical decision taking assumes importance in today’s corporate world. When using the Internet and E-Commerce, it is important to remember that, there are many legal, moral and ethical issues to consider. Businesses entering the e-commerce world will be facing a new set of ethical challenges. It is easy for businesses to become side tracked in the technical challenges of operating in this way and to pay little attention to the ethical implications. There is a research gap in the study of ethical issues which, influence performance of business, which in turn can influence at various levels in the complex society. This study envisages the need for comparison of various ethical issues in the current business scenario and throws light on the key takeaway points for best Ethical Practices in Business. The desperation of the productive enterprise to achieve corporate goals and workers' desire for equity has naturally affected etiquette, integrity, self discipline, by extension the level of performance and productivity within the framework of employment relationship.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine work ethics and organizational performance. Other specific objectives are as follows;
1) To assess the level of employee awareness towards ethical conducts in PHCN Port Harcourt
2) To examine the factors that influence organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt
3) To examine the impact of team work on organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt.
4) To determine the relationship between work attitude and organizational performance in PHCN port Harcourt
5) To recommend ways of improving work ethics in an organization
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the level of employee awareness towards ethical conducts in PHCN Port Harcourt?
2) What are the factors that influence organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt?
3) What is the impact of team work on organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt?
4) What is the relationship between work attitude and organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt?
5) What are the recommended ways of improving work ethics in an organization?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of team work on organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt
H1: There is a significant impact of team work on organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt
H0: There is no significant relationship between work attitude and organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt
H1: There is a significant relationship between work attitude and organizational performance in PHCN Port Harcourt
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is of the essence and useful to the government and organizations in Nigeria in establishing the influence of workplace ethics and its contribution towards organizational performance. It gives the measures and recommendations which will impact positively performance of employees and organization in general if well capitalized. It provides also challenges for other researchers to carry out similar research on workplace ethics and add to their existing knowledge. It also offers inputs to policy makers.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to work ethics and organizational performance, case study of PHCN, Port Harcourt.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Ethics: Ethics means being objective, honest, fair, caring and respectful at the work place. Ethics is concerned with morality and human conduct
Work Ethics: Work ethics comprises ethical values that govern employees at workplace. It can be described as a set of values, which include the right attitude, correct behavior, respect for others and effective communication in the workplace
Performance: Performance means accomplishing planned things.
Organizational performance: Organizational performance means overall actual results accomplished at variance with the expectations of the organization.
Ethical standards: Ethical standards are written rules to regulate ethical behavior of employees.
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