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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Differentiate between Personal ethics and Professional ethics. Give examples.

    21 Oct, 2021 GS Paper 4 Theoretical Questions


    Ethics means the rules and principles regulating the behaviour of individuals. It is the study of what is right or wrong in human conduct. Ethics states the dos and don’ts in a specific setting.

    The differences between Personal and Professional Ethics are:

    Personal Ethics

    Professional Ethics
    Personal ethics refers to the sense of rights and wrongs of a person. Professional ethics refers to the strict code of conduct and guidelines that are imposed on employees within the industrial setting.
    Learned from family, friends and relatives since childhood. Learned when one becomes part of corporate world.
    They relate to your deep-rooted principles, and how religiously you follow them determines the kind of person you are. How well you follow the protocol of the company is what will matter here.
    An individual has the choice of changing his personal ethics. An individual does not have the choice of changing his professional ethics.
    The accountability is on the individual alone. The accountability is not only on the individual but also the organization as well.
    Non-compliance with them causes mental disharmony and personal dilemma. Non-compliance to such rules may risk your reputation, as your behavior will immediately be reported as unprofessional.
    Example: Openness, Honesty, Friendliness, Respect for Others, Loyalty, Fairness, Integrity. Example: Abiding by the law, Industry Standards, Worker Treatment, Confidentiality, Worker Safety.

    Examples of Conflict

    1. A police officer’s personal ethics may consider a law to be wrong. However, under Conduct Rules (professional ethics), he is required to obey and apply the law unless there is good and sufficient cause to do otherwise.

    2. A doctor may not personally believe that the course of medical treatment chosen by a patient is the right one. However, under the Code of Ethics for the Medical Association, she must respect the rights, autonomy and freedom of choice of the patient.


    One can differentiate between personal and professional ethics by viewing a personal ethical system as a person’s conscience, while professional ethics are viewed as a set code of conduct that must be adhered to in the workplace.

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