January 29, 2023

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Is your code of ethics enduring or evolving?

3 min read

WITH the world’s ethical values that seem to be going from bad to worse—is your business guided not only by the right values but relevant ones in these trying times? Enduring ethics can be relevant even with the passage of time but do your code of ethics addressed the need for ethical guidelines in this rapidly changing world?

I said rapidly changing world because not only is technology changing the world but external events such as the pandemic, climate change, deteriorating earth, etc. In a survey conducted what will life be like in 2025, in the wake of the recent pandemic and other crises in the past year, some 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded. Their view is that technology and people relationship will deepen as more people will rely more on digital connections in all aspect their lives.

Technology can bring both positive and negative impacts in our lives. However, in that same survey the respondents also see that with the continued rise of technology is the rise of worsening ethical values. One important thing they see in 2025 is that the spread of misinformation will multiply and their deepest worry is “over the seemingly unstoppable manipulation of public perception, emotion and action via online disinformation” (source: PEW Research Center Feb. 18, 2021). This in turn will bring significant damage to social stability and similar negative effect on society.

Some 47 percent of these respondents said that in 2025 life will be mostly worse for most people than pre-pandemic times, while 39 percent said life will be mostly better for most people in 2025 than it was pre-pandemic. The rest of the 14 percent said that life in 2025 will not differ much from a situation where there had been no pandemic.

The book (“Ethics: Enduring or Evolving”) recently launched last November 28, 2022, by the Ethics Committee of the Financial Executives Institute of which I chaired and is one of the authors, showcased the different thoughts and experiences of these authors who are experts in their fields, on how ethics shaped the lives, businesses, workplaces, educational institutions and the world as a whole. Some of these writings dwell on ethics that are evolving because of the times.

The pandemic, for instance, had brought significant changes in most if not all of our everyday lives. Technology has also a great impact on the ethical values of people. This is why this Ethics Book is about enduring or evolving ethics.

The enduring ethics will be relevant no matter what the times are. But in this constantly changing world and the lightning speed at which technology evolve, these ethical guidelines should also evolve to address or keep up with these changes.

Without the proper ethical guidelines, this world which is now suffering prevalent misinformation, addiction to technology, hacking of information and data, etc. will find itself helpless in the midst of these unfortunate consequences of not putting in place the proper ethical values as a precaution and as as a deterrent to a deteriorating society.

Part I of the book is about enduring values and the legacies established by the founders and leaders of certain big corporations in the country. In Part II, we invited selected personalities to share their thoughts on ethics in their businesses, workplaces and even homes.

If you can get a hold of the copy, you will be able to read various insights on ethical values that hopefully could also guide you in your quest for an enduring and evolving ethical values.

If you want not just an interesting reading but also an informative and value-shaping book, this book is the one for you. We donate the books for free to universities and schools to help shape the values of the students. For those interested to buy, please contact Alex through amcanon@finex.org.ph or Jay through aasantiago@finex.org.ph. The book is sold at P350 each for members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex) and at P500 for non-Finex members.

Wilma Miranda is the 2022 chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates (CPAs) and member of the Board of Directors of KPS Outsourcing Inc. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions and the BusinessMirror.