Free Paper Example on Moral Codes

Published: 2023-11-26
Free Paper Example on Moral Codes
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Leadership analysis Culture Business Society Human behavior Moral development
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1198 words
10 min read


Moral codes exist in every society to govern and regulate both human behavior and business practices. Such codes differ from different cultures and are applicable depending on individual situations or circumstances. Some of these rules include The Golden Rule, The Silver Rule, The Brazen Rule, and The Iron Rule. Lawmakers and philosophers are responsible for setting these moral codes in society. To live decently one must strike a balance between what is right and what is practical. One rule cannot necessarily be useful in handling every obstacle that one comes across. In business, moral codes are applied through corporate responsibility, where businesses align their operations to not harm others and to meet the expectations of business partners (Suchanek, 2008). However, in corporate leadership, various conditions necessitate variations from the Golden Rule. For good management, a reconciliation of morality and profits is crucial to overcome these challenges.

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Barrage of Obstacles

Humans face a barrage of obstacles throughout their lives and different moral codes assist in tackling different situations. I apply different rules for different issues I face depending on which rule I feel will be the most effective. One of the three rules I live by is the Golden Rule "do unto others what you want to be done to you" (Colyer, 2011). The rule advocates for putting one’s self-interest aside and practicing social cooperation for mutual advantage (Suchanek, 2008). Therefore, one should be kind for others to reciprocate kindness. I try to incorporate the Golden Rule in my daily interactions with people whether it is with friends or strangers. I respect everyone I meet and practice social etiquette even in difficult situations that could trigger an aggressive response. In addition, I always endeavor to return favors for people who have gone out of their way to assist me before.

Another rule I rely on is the Silver Rule, “do not do unto others what you do not want to be done to you” (Colyer, 2011). I strive not to offend others and always repay goodness with goodness. I have learned that not every situation requires me to react emotionally or aggressively, and that some issues can be handled calmly. However, faced with a situation in which I feel my rights are infringed upon, or that I am being offended, I always defend myself, albeit I do not use violence. We should never submit too much to the extent that others take advantage of us. The Silver Rule has taught me to be brave enough to stand up for myself.

According to Colyer (2011), The Brazen Rule states that we should “repay kindness with kindness but evil with justice”. An explanation to this rule is that a person should reciprocate a good action but retaliate when faced with an injustice. For instance, if I ask a friend for a favor and they ignore me, I will feel disappointed and probably not do them favor the next time they ask me. Another instance I applied to this rule is when my senior coworker kept assigning me too much work that I had to work extra shifts yet he did not add overtime pay to my salary. I was initially intimidated by him as he ignored my complaints despite the unfairness. I composed myself and expressed my frustrations to the human resource manager who investigated the issue and removed the extra shifts from my work schedule.


The values instilled in me throughout my childhood have shaped me into the individual I am today. The Golden Rule expects that acts of kindness, honesty, and generosity are reciprocated in kind (“Business Ethics,” n.d.). It expects us to emphasize with others and learn to put other people’s feelings into consideration. It is an important principle to uphold especially in positions of leadership. It has helped me be more approachable and considerate of my junior employees. I am regarded as one of the few junior managers that can interact freely with employees and voice their frustrations. It has enabled me to connect and bond with my colleagues and create lasting respectful relationships both professionally and socially.

The Silver Rule insists on refraining from repaying evil with evil. This rule is relevant to my life in so many ways. In some cases where I have been in a confrontation with a rude individual, I sometimes choose to walk away. I believe not every battle is meant to be won: some are rather meaningless and it is a better option to be the bigger person and decide not to repay unkindness with unkindness. The Brazen Rule has instilled in me the confidence to stand against adversity. In instances where I faced misjudgment or mistreatment, I was able to retaliate, or also seek help. I do not accept being a pushover; neither do I allow anyone to exploit my kindness. I am assertive in my relationships and interactions, whether it is with my family, friends, colleagues, or even strangers who are likely to rub me the wrong way.

Business Competition

Businesses today face stiff competition and certain situations challenge a business’s ability to maintain ethical practices despite the high market volatility. In the case of the two competing firms of Red Corp and Blue Corp, Red Corp knew of the leaked online information hence having an upper hand over Blue Corp. The question arises whether Red Corp will inform and cooperate with Blue Corp for a mutual agreement not to use the information to gain each other’s customers, or whether Red Corp will take advantage of the situation to use Blue Corp’s data against them.

The firms face a complex problem in Game Theory called the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The prisoner’s dilemma is a strategy-making tool that creates a structure for businesses to establish a balance between cooperation and competition (Picardo, 2020). The prisoner’s dilemma describes a situation in which choices made by two opponent players playing against each other strategically could result in either favorable or unfavorable outcomes. Businesses can decide to either cooperate for mutual benefits or defect for individual self-interests (Picardo, 2020). In a case scenario according to the prisoner’s dilemma, the police separately interrogated two suspects concerning a crime they committed. The purpose of separating the two suspects’ was to avoid them communicating and influencing each other’s decisions.


The rules applied in scenarios 1 and 2 are different such that I had to change the basis of my morality. In issue 2, Red Corp had no assurance Blue Corp would comply and cooperate with it. The only way it could guarantee its survival would be to take advantage of the situation and use Blue Corp's data. Furthermore, Red Corp believed Blue Corp would do the same given the opportunity. In this case, the Iron Rule comes into play, where you do unto others, as you like before they do it to you. The Golden Rule is not applicable in this case because Red Corp has already taken advantage and acted in bad faith by using Blue Corp's data to get ahead: this goes against the values of honesty and kindness of the Golden Rule.

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