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Local Literature

Ethics is a branch of philosophy which studies the principles of right or wrong in

human conduct. Right or wrong are qualities assigned to actions, conduct, and behavior. As

such, ethicists inquire into the correctness of such acts as promise keeping, truth telling,

integrity, deception, and compassion. Good and bad, on the other hand, are qualities that

characterize ends, goals, and purposes. As such, ethicists inquire into the reasons for living

and working; the goals that should be pursued in order to lead a successful life; and the

purposes that should motivate people in their life choices (Florendo, 2012).

Hence, ethics is grounded on the experience of free persons who have to act in difficult

situations. It developed from the reality that when people act, they do not merely need to

know best way to realize something but there are times when they need to act in a way that

realizes the good. And the good does not always mean the easiest or most expedient way.

Ethical norms and the question of good and evil arise when people need to act as free persons.

But not all actions are inherently ethical. Actions only require ethical reflection when they are

free acts that involve a person’s desire to realize the good (Pasco, Suarez, Rodriguez, 2018).

Moreover, norms express the human realization that free action is defined by an ought

that is not measured by how practical results are achieved but by how human beings act in a

way that realizes their capacity to freely and creatively respond to the order of things: whether

this order is grounded on a transcendent order or human reason. Ethical questions arise when

human beings intuit that their actions must authentically fulfill their freedom in response to a

ground of authentic human existence (Pasco, Suarez, Rodriguez, 2018).

Additionally, Florendo (2012) articulated that there are essential attributes of human

acts: It must be performed by a conscious agent who is aware of what he is doing and of its

consequences. It must be performed by an agent who is acting freely, that is, by his own

volition and powers. An action done under duress and against one’s will is not entirely a free

action. It must be performed by an agent who decides willfully to perform the act. This

willfulness is the result to perform an act here and now, or in some future time. Then, he

stated that there are two kinds of human acts such as elicited acts and command acts. Elicited

acts are those performed by the will and are not bodily externalized while commanded acts

are those done either by man’s mental or bodily powers under the command of the will.

On the contrary, ethics is taken up in school to help students understand themselves

and to guide them how to live their lives well. A well-lived life is a life fulfilled. One can only

fully human if he or she is genuinely free to enjoy the experience – mentally, emotionally,

spiritually, physiology – of attaining the kind of person he or she wants for himself or herself.

Each fulfillment, however, is an outcome not of individual efforts but of cooperative activities

with other human persons. Attaining happiness is a group effort and is never a privative

enterprise (Cariño, 2018).

At its simplest, ethics are the set of moral principles that guide a person’s behavior.

These morals are shaped by social norms, cultural practices, and religious influences. Ethics

reflect beliefs about what is right, what is wrong, what is just, what is unjust, what is good, and

what is bad in terms of human behavior. They serve as a compass to direct how people should

behave toward each other, understand and fulfill their obligations to society, and live their

lives (Martires, 2010).

Additionally, Martires (1992) stated that ethics do influence human behavior. The

ethical behavior of people determines which action they think are “good” and “right” in a

particular setting. Human behavior consists of any act of an individual person that reflects his

thoughts, feelings, emotions, sentiments and, in general, his state or condition. These may be

conscious or unconscious activities that are predicated on his needs, values, motivations and


In relation to this, Philosophers have attempted to determine goodness in conduct

according to two chief principles, and have considered certain types of conduct either good in

themselves or good because they conform to a particular moral standard. The former implies

a final value, or summum bonum, which is desirable in itself and not merely as a means to an

end. In the history of ethics there are three principal standards of conduct, each of which has

ben proposed as the highest good: happiness or pleasure; duty, virtue, or obligation; and

perfection, the fullest harmonious development of human potential (Corpuz, Dela Cruz,

Estoque & Tabotabo, 2007).

Foreign Literature

Behind the rationales why people exercise the act goodness and kindness are because

it’s the remedy of their heart. It sets the heart to be free from any negative aspects in life. It

sets the heart to be free from any negative aspects in life. It also brings tremendous effect to

the existence of individuals because it expresses only good characters (Sullivan & Pecorino,


For Kant (2012), then, “goodness” follows “rightness”. What is good because it is the

expression of a rational will- because it is achieved in accord with the universal principles of
reason. Then, it is a person that is the source of value. A person is of infinite worth, and what

a person has, what a person does, what a person believes, what a person enjoys are all

dependent upon the person’s reason and the person’s autonomy. Kant says that the virtues

themselves – evenness of temper, patience, can be turned evil if they are used for evil.

Even though people have ethics, they can still commit mistakes because of an

incomplete knowledge towards making decision on a certain scenario and of having a poor

communication to the people that’s why it results to choose a wrong choice. Also, being

pressured is one of the factors that create wrongdoings because they are under stressed by

their thoughts (Johnson, 2012).

Ethics, according to VSP RAO (2004) defined Ethics as: “a body of principles or

standards of human conduct that govern the behaviors of individuals and groups. Ethics arise

not simply from man’s creation but from human nature itself making it a natural body of laws

from which man’s laws. Ethics studies the standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral

philosophy. Thus, we say that ethics is the system or code of morals of a particular person,

religion, group, profession, etc. Ethics has been applied to family structure, sexuality, and how

society views the roles of individuals; leading to several distinct and unrelated fields of applied

ethics, including feminism.

Ultimately, ethics is important not so that “we can understand” philosophically, but

rather so we can “improve how we live”. By being moral, we enrich our lives and the lives of

those around us. It’s especially important to live a moral life when we are young, as it is helpful

to exercise and practice these concepts before being confronted with more complex issues. It

has theory that ethics is like most everything else that we strive to be good at; it requires
practice and effort. Practicing and making an effort to make moral decisions throughout life

will play dividends when we are faced with serious moral dilemmas (Lafollette, 2007).

A multitude of research has demonstrated that ethics is related a variety of important

job-related out comes. For example, studies have shown that a higher ethical work climate

(Mulki, Jaramillo, and Locander, 2008) and top leadership support for ethics (Viswesvaran,

Deshpande, and Joseph, 1998) are both positively related to job satisfaction.

Values form the basis for our understanding of ethics. Ethics is doing the right thing,

whatever that might be. The “right thing” is based on those values’ society. “Values” is the

term given to those ideas, behaviors, and actions that are important to us. Our values strongly

influence our decision making and help determine where we place our emphasis on our

personal and professional lives. There are some values. Though, that are essentially universally

held by society. There are values from which we derive our understanding and expectation of

ethics and ethical behavior. Such ideals include integrity, honesty, hard work, kindness,

compassion, empathy, sympathy, justice and bravery (Roufa, 2019).

According to Weinstein, there are five basic principles of ethics that are common to

all faiths: Do no harm. Make things better. Respect others. Be fair. Be loving. These values are

defined differently in different parts of the world, but they are cross-cultural and expected

among all groups of people. Also, Weinstein says they should extend beyond the walls of the

sanctuary and should be taught and expected in homes and classrooms as well. Ethics and

morals are often associated with religion, but schools can also provide important lessons in

ethical thinking and action.

Singer (2019) expressed that ethics deals with such questions at all levels. Its subject

consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision making, and its major concerns include
the nature of ultimate value and the standards by which human actions can be judged right or


Role models play a huge impact in the development of an individual’s life said by Perry

& Nixon (2005), and the development of one’s ethical thought and behavior is no exception.

With the emergence of mass media such as television and especially the internet, role models

are becoming an even bigger influence today than ever before. Subsequently, if one views a

very ethical individual as a role model, he or she will definitely grow up to uphold a high

standard of ethics. On the other hand, if one’s role model is of questionable ethical practice,

consequently they will have a higher chance of practicing unethical methods.

Globalization also plays a strong role in affecting the ethical behaviors of the masses.

Globalization is a transnational community in which geographical boundaries are nothing

more than a political nuisance according to Zekos (2004). Globalization creates a breeding

ground for erosion of ethics, especially in developing countries. This is because developing

economies are in dire need of foreign investments and are in a weak bargaining position

compared to more wealthy countries. As a consequence, local enforcement lacks the

motivation to enforce any kind of corruption, and basically look the other way even if they

discover them, as this may mean turning away potential investments in the country.

Thoughts affect words and deeds, and in a group context, ethics in decision making

can be evaluated through the tangible evidence and outcomes from words and actions. Again,

thoughts and motivation are left to the personal realm. As a consequence, evaluation of

appropriate ethical behavior will have limitations. In all outcomes there are the following

possibilities: Right motivation with right action. Right motivation with wrong action. Wrong
motivation with right action. Wrong motivation with wrong action (Decision Innovation,


It has been long established that institutional honor codes can be effective deterrents

to academic dishonesty (McCabe, Treviño & Butterfield, 2001); Whitley & Keith-Spiegel,

2001). A climate encouraging ethical behavior affects students’ perceptions of how ethically

other students are behaving. Research has consistently demonstrated that the most important

factor in whether students behave honestly is their perception of their peers’ behaviors

(Caldwell, 2010; Engler, landau and Epstein, 2008; Jordan, 2001; Mc Cabe & Bowers, 2009;

McCabe, Butterfield & Treviño, 2006; McCabe & Treviño, 1993; Pulvers & Diekhof, 1999;

Whitley, 1998). If students believe that “everyone else is cheating,” then they ill be more likely

to cheat, too. However, honor codes alone do not create a climate of ethical behavior. Honor

codes must be backed by institutional programs that educate students and encourage academic

honesty (Caldwell, 2010; Engler et al., 2008; MacDonald & Carroll, 2006; McCabe, et al., 2001;

Roig & Marks, 2006; Whitley & Keith-Spiegel, 2001). Therefore, to move expectations of

ethical behavior from the institution to the classroom, statements encouraging ethical behavior

not only need to be placed in the course syllabus, but also discussed and reinforced in class.