Ethics are the right manner in which one should conduct an activity or behave. The ethics tell apart between what is right and acceptable from what is wrong and unacceptable. The prime function of researching utilization of statistics it is to establish facts without unbiased reporting (Michalos, 2017). The process of conducting business statistics should be ethical from the collection of data to reporting to merit the result obtained. It is, therefore, an objective task to report statistical values in the manner in which they are. The data obtained from statistical studies are instrumental as it is deployed in making informed business decisions which will contribute to the seamless business operation and increased returns (Wang & Calvano, 2015). However, there are incidents where ethical pitfall arises due to poor reporting and collection of data during business statistic leading to misleading information. In this view, the paper shall critically analyze the importance of ethical values through different perspectives such as ethical theories, personal values, and Christian perspectives.
Unethical Issues in Business Statistics
The mantra Lies, damned lies, and statistics ensues from the situation in which the researcher hides and manipulate data so that it can reflect what he/she desire and not actually what the data represent. The unethical values can be applied to any particular point form data collection to interpretation making ethics in statistics a volatile issue (Anderson et al., 2016). For instance, in data collection, the use of the wrong question can elicit wrong emotions rather than objective information. The validation of a theory or viewpoint of the researcher can be hidden when they fail to include the data outliers. Unethical behavior is thus assumed when the data chosen only reflect a particular viewpoint desired by the researcher. Despite, the fact that numbers do not lie they can be manipulated during representation and interpretation. In this instance, a company can conduct a survey from the customer and during the representation of the feedback only give the one that reflects on the god image of the company and neglecting to comment on the importance of the other data. In marketing, a company can decide to showcase the comfort of a car and fail to tell the safety issue thus misleading its customers as well as other stakeholders.
The American Statistical Associations Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice provides the guidelines required by the statistic practitioner in making ethical decisions ("Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice," 2017). The guidelines aim at facilitating and promoting accountability of statistics. Professional misconduct is condemned as the society relies on the informed decisions which are made by statistics. The elements encouraged in statistics are transparency, reproducible results, and effective interpretation. In situations where the guidelines conflict a person should prioritize principles based on the context. All in all, the statisticians are called upon to be competent, professional and act in good faith as well as encouraging others to do so ("Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice," 2017). The guidelines reinforce the importance of accountability and integrity in data and method as well as responsibilities to the public, client, and funder.
Statistics are also guided by the normative theories which promote a school of thought of what is ethically moral. First, according to Immanuel Kant whose basis is not on consequentialism states that people should not be used as a means to an end but rather ends to means for the action to be termed as ethical(Stern, 2015). More so, one should act in a way which the same action should be applied as universal law. Thus, the unethical business action which uses customer feedback as ends to the means are unethical and should not be supported. Moreover, the unethical business statistics cannot be applied as a universal law reinstating that they are immoral.
Secondly, the utilitarian theory supported by two pioneers John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham argues that an action is termed to be ethically correct based on the consequences. The utilitarian depicts that an action is morally right when it results to the greatest good for the greatest number of people (Hoffman, Frederick, & Schwartz, 2014). Therefore, when unethical business statistics lead to only the company benefiting while all the other stakeholders do not benefit, it is concluded to be unethical.
Influence of Personal Values
Personal values support actions which are based on good virtues while condemning those that are grounded on the vice. Thus, an unethical business statistics which are based on the vices of false, incompetence and partiality are morally wrong. The best business statistics should promote good virtues such as honesty, integrity, competence, and professionalism (Trevino & Nelson, 2016). The importance of transparency in business promotes good relations in business and firm standards. The business which is built on good ethics can stand different crisis such as lawsuits and promote a reputable image and brand name increasing customers and employee loyalty. Consequently, this will translate to increased returns and growth of the business.
The Christianity perspective is rooted on the biblically teaching and guidance. The Christianity values, practice, and beliefs guide the Christians in the way they should act and behave. One should live life with that faith within the context of their daily life and reflect the same to the society as a whole. The Christians follow the actions and deeds of Jesus Christ manifesting loves and generosity to the society. Thus, by Christ steps one manifest ever-increasing love, selflessness and sacrifice for the benefits of all people ("Christian Identity and Heritage | Grand Canyon University," 2017). In Christianity worldview, the doctrines guide that it is imperative living a transformative life through right practice and serving the community in good faith. The core doctrine being unity is cultivated by living and practicing actions that are in accordance with Christian faith. Faithfulness and excellence in good actions are attributed to Christian individual to their neighbors.
Therefore, based on the Christianity worldview a business statistics should be grounded on what is right and just based on the faith. The actions of a person should illuminate what the sons of the light are required depict. The actions of selflessness, honesty, sacrifice, and goodwill to the people should be central in serving the neighbors and community. The Christian thus have a different standpoint on the issue of accurate statistics as they encourage good actions which will lead to the benefit of the society. Unethical actions in statistics are contrary to the Christians view as they promote a different path from what is outlined by Jesus Christ (Kumpikaite-Valiuniene & Alas, 2014). The actions and deeds of Christ could not have encouraged unethical actions, and therefore business statistics should avoid the same. The Christianity perspective promotes harmony and truth which is entirely unreflected in unethical business statistics. The importance of doing what is right should be encouraged and demonstrated on business statisticians who proclaim to be Christians as their action of a Christian should reflect the Christianity values in all of their practice.
To sum up, it is important that in business statistics be objective in data and information provided without emphasizing or downplaying other information for the complete picture to be seen. The unethical issues in business statistics can mislead customers and important stakeholders hence destroying the reputation and public image of the company. The ethical theories depict that the invaluable nature of ethics in business and provides the guidance for the best approach to use. The personal view strengthens this information by having the same perspective and the Christian worldview show the importance of good ethics and moral in business ethics. The importance of truth and honesty are moral virtues which are essential in the operation of the business and maintain a firm and long-lasting relationship with business stakeholders. The Christian values support selflessness, honesty, and sacrifice for the benefits of the society as it is by the path set by Jesus Christ.
Anderson, D. R., Sweeney, D. J., Williams, T. A., Camm, J. D., & Cochran, J. J. (2016). Statistics for business & economics. Nelson Education.
Christian Identity and Heritage | Grand Canyon University. (2017). Gcu.edu. Retrieved 30 September 2017, from https://www.gcu.edu/about-gcu/christian-identity-and-heritage.php
Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice. (2017). Amstat.org. Retrieved 30 September 2017, from http://www.amstat.org/ASA/Your-Career/Ethical-Guidelines-for-Statistical-Practice.aspxHoffman, W. M., Frederick, R. E., & Schwartz, M. S. (Eds.). (2014). Business ethics: Readings and cases in corporate morality. John Wiley & Sons.
Kumpikaite-Valiuniene, V., & Alas, R. (2014). Spirituality and Christian values in business: Pilot study. International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 76, 21.
Michalos, A. C. (2017). Issues for business ethics in the nineties and beyond. In How Good Policies and Business Ethics Enhance Good Quality of Life (pp. 197-212). Springer International Publishing.
Stern, R. (2015). Kantian Ethics: Value, Agency, and Obligation. Oxford University Press, USA.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Wang, L. C., & Calvano, L. (2015). Is business ethics education effective? An analysis of gender, personal ethical perspectives, and moral judgment. Journal of Business Ethics, 126(4), 591-602.
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