Ethics is important on several levels.
- On a personal level most people feel better working for an ethical organization. If the organization truly values fairness, honesty, and integrity, employees are more likely to enjoy their work and take pride in the organization.
- At the professional level ethically oriented codes of conduct are common. Professions recognize that their credibility rests not only on technical competence, but also on public trust.
- At the organizational level, ethics is good business. Several studies have shown that over the long run ethical businesses do better than unethical businesses.
- At the societal level, the public often has different expectations from organizations that receive public funding. JPL exists to perform an important, long-term mission in the public interest. It is important that JPL not only perform this mission to the highest standards of integrity but that we be perceived by society as doing so.
We may not think about it every day, but we all depend on the ethical behavior of our co-workers, our immediate supervisors, and higher levels of management. The daily decisions we all make at JPL affect our future and the future of the Laboratory. We are all parts of an interdependent system -- a system in which each part has the potential to affect all other parts either positively or negatively.