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Topics: Communications Management, Ethics, Organizational Culture
Covid 19 and Ethical Norms
Ethics has long been a matter of debate. In reality, what is ideal and what is practical. It is not always easy to follow what is ideal and in such situations one resorts to what is practical The ongoing pandemic Covid-19 has enhanced this gap. As the world fights the pandemic this the moment of truth for corporate integrity and values. Disruptions caused by the pandemic will have a significant impact on ethics.

Covid-19 and the ensuing economic crisis will uncover unethical behaviors and actions, leaving organizations exposed to the threat of reputation damage and financial losses.
Organizations are likely to flout norms under guise of survival and that cannot be refuted as is the case with many organizations and projects.
In these circumstances, what are the bare minimum ethical norms that must be adhered to? Or do you feel all should be mandated?
Would like to hear your views.
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Deepa,

I see a loosing of traditional behaviors on both ways, also lots of people show more ethical behavior, they show compassion, fairness, responsibility, humility, etc. This may come from the fact that with old limits tumble, people revert to what they feel as inherent structure, these are the universal human values which are hardwired in every human by evolution.

States and nations are bound by laws and learned behaviors of politicians. And they might break if many revert to ethical behavior, always did (Romania and Ceaucescu, East Germany and Honneker, Louis XVI and starving Parisians). Yes, they will use their power, increased by virtual tools, to increase pressure.

Old good Newton will come to rescue, as action induces reaction.
Deepa -

When things get tight, the best and worst of humanity emerges.

To quote Thomas from a parallel discussion thread, I prefer to see the cup as half-full - we are seeing good examples of real leadership emerge when we are faced with a global crisis. Yes, there will be those cowardly few who seek to advance at the cost of others during such times but I'd hope they remain the minority.

Our role as leaders is to continue to model the behaviors we expect from our stakeholders - whether that is in good or bad times.

Kiron
What an interest topic!
I have experienced an increased attention to ethics, making sure we all feel adapt to this new normal. I have witnessed increased on trust (due to remote working) and transparency (making sure everyone has the correct info).
This was shown by colleagues and also promoted by our top management.

I think that -when the financial crisis will hit- only companies with great ethical values will last.
Thank you Deepa for this interesting discussion!
I agree with Thomas, Kiron and Fabio.

I am afraid at the start of Covid-19, the world witnessed on their TV screens, Australians fighting over toilet paper! It was a sad and ugly display of panic and selfishness.
As we looked at ourselves, more empathy and understanding was required and demonstrated, people starting creating neighborhood groups that re-enforced empathy and bring in it together, helping and supporting each other.
The Australian workplace has gone through a speedy management transformation from a traditional to a more responsive, empathetic, collaborative, flexible approach using digital technologies underpinned by empathy and trust.
Australian politicians came together to start with, working on a unified approach. However, when problems started to unravel they resorted to the blame game.
We expect and demand more from ourselves, our organisations and our leaders. These are testing times where empathy, ethics and values will enable us to survive and thrive.

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