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How an Individual Might Justify an Unethical Decision

Dilemma from both the Utilitarian and Relativistic Perspective

Utilitarianism Ethical theory is a normative practice where primary focus is on right or wrong conducted by society (Trevino, 2010). Outcomes are selected in accordance to action or policy compared to other policies. Utilitarianism ethical theory focuses on maximizing of utility, such that well-being of sentient entities can be achieved. It is a version of consequentialism that focuses on standards of being right or wrong. Unlike other ethical theories, it is solely based on egoism thus considering equal interests. However, there is a conflict in considering whether total or average of utility needs be maximized. Aim of utilitarian ethics emerges from providing happiness for people. In this theory it is considered that correct ethical course of action positively impacts whereas incorrect course of action impacts negatively. Several examples considered in this manner are holding of salaries of employees for not being able to budget appropriately is considered ethically wrong, as employees have seen profits in budget last year.     

Relativism ethics considers difference in perception attributed to various actions. According to this theory there can be no universally accepted truth (Clegg, 2007). Moral relativism is used for reflecting on moral principles, where ethics are considered in a limited point of view. The truth of this theory pertains to the fact that there cannot be any type of absolute truth, hence truth is always referred to some sort of frame.  

In part A3 there is a personal ethical dilemma as it does not meet its personal commitment of providing its employees with annual bonuses. The Company inspite of this promises purchased expensive equipment’s and also discontinued providing plastic silverware as well as paper products from employee’s break room. The Company has also stopped providing all sort of annual raises to its employees. Analyzing this fact from utilitarian concept, it can be said that the Company conducted gross wrong action. According to utilitarian concept it is considered crucial for a company for creating happiness for its employees. But the Company did not do so hence it can be said that there is high ethical wrong doing by the Company (Yamaji, 1997).    

Employees while being employed at a workplace might face several types of ethical dilemmas (Carroll, 2014). The two common ethical dilemmas are whether to act as a professional in conducting oneself for meeting goals and objectives for the organisation or not, which implies ethical behavior. In the second case, a professional might consider whether to continue in a committed manner in the organisation even in case organisation does not care for its employees, providing for employee working conditions. Within workplace as a professional can strive to either form trade union or put forward to the management existing rules and regulations. Employees can put forward their point of views to the management for increases in salary, bonuses or annual remunerations or other benefits. In case the management bargains then it will be beneficial for employees and in this case it will be ethical course for the organisation (De George, 2011). Thus, ethical behavior of the employee stemming from business can have legal consequences in course of unethical behavior conducted by employees.   

Two Common Ethical Decisions That Employees May Face

Employee working conditions can lead to a number of ethical issues in case the organisation fails to provide for appropriate employee working conditions. There might be several ethical considerations that might arise from work environment of employees, their compensation, unsafe working and conducting difficult tasks. There can be legal consequences arising from such unethical conducts, however the employee can select whether they will shift to a different job in a new company or continue with the same (Woiceshyn, 2011). In this case, employee faces ethical dilemma, however conduct of the organisation can be regarded as unethical in nature. When considering utilitarian concept it can be said that conduct of employees is ethical as considered to conduct of the organisation.

Decisions an employee needs to take on a number of different potential outcomes as ethical and unethical might vary hugely (Vaughn, 2015). In cases an employee is treated badly or is not provided basics of a judgment then an employee might overcome his professional quotient to emerge as an unethical person. An employee leaving the organisation in case he is not provided basic pay increase or bonuses in spite the organisation making huge amounts of profits. Then, his unethical professional behavior can easily be justified by the course of action adopted by the organisation. Such an unethical decision can have potential outcomes of impacting organisational productivity and might hamper smooth proceeding for an organisation. Employees can justify this course of action in terms of utilitarian ethical concepts. This might be an unethical problem from the point of view of professional conduct.

Another course of action employees can adopt in case they are not paid properly and are not provided appropriate working conditions, is revolt by trade union (Valentine, 2008). Employees can report their dissatisfaction to employee union, which can then undertake appropriate course of action to conduct discussion with management. Halting work and revolting might be considered a potential threat to the organisation however, such might help resolve problems faced by employees. While these can be referred to as unethical codes of conduct, it can be justified as ethical from the side of employees (Rossouw, 2013). Hence, organisation in case takes an ethical stance in resolving trade union problems can be regarded as appropriate further, in case organisation does not adopt ethical stance then it is considered as unethical course of action. 

Reference Lists

Carroll, A. B. (2014). Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.

Clegg, S. K. (2007). Business ethics as practice. British Journal of Management, 18(2), 107-122.

De George, R. (2011). Business ethics. . Pearson Education India.

Rossouw, D. a. (2013). Business ethics. Oxford University Press.

Trevino, L. a. (2010). Managing business ethics. . John Wiley & Sons.

Valentine, S. a. (2008). Ethics programs, perceived corporate social responsibility and job satisfaction. Journal of business ethics, 77(2), 159-172.

Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.

Woiceshyn, J. (2011). A model for ethical decision making in business: Reasoning, intuition, and rational moral principles. Journal of business ethics, 311-323.

Yamaji, K. (1997). A global perspective of ethics in business. Business Ethics Quarterly, 70(3), 55-70.

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