In the business world these days, an individual must take into consideration many factors in becoming successful individually and as a team. One of the factors to be considered is effective leadership of the business is how ethics influence leadership. How an individual value the importance of having good ethics, their leadership experiences in life, and how they will apply these values in their future career. Today they live in such a diverse environment, which means they are surrounded by a lot of different culture, ethnicity, and religion. To become a successful leader an individual must learn to deal with the differences, one could possess and practice a code of ethics which should include valuable guidelines of principles. This essay will examine the ethical problems of how leaders make decisions on conducting surveillance of workers whether it is acceptable or not and then apply a utilitarian approach and a rights approach to how leaders working in a business environment can decide about using surveillance. It will show that a rights approach provides more effective framework for leaders to make leaders surveillance.
In these days, the business world, it is important that the individuals should take into consideration about various factors for becoming the successful person and as a successful team (Joinson and Paine 2006). One of the major factors that need to be considered is the effective business leadership about how ethics carets influence on the leadership (Persson 2003). The question is that, how many individuals give value to the significance of having the good ethics; along have experience the leadership in their life, and how they can actually apply these leadership experiences in their future career growth (Joinson and Paine 2006). They everyone lives in the diversified environment that implies people are surrounded through the lot of various religions, culture as well as ethnicity (Joinson and Paine 2006).
In order to become the successful leader it is important that the individuals should try to learn with dealing with the differences (Joinson and Paine 2006). It is also important that one should try to possess as well as try to practice the code of ethics that should cover up the valuable principle guidelines (Joinson and Paine 2006). This report will examine the various ethical issues related to how the leaders take the decisions over conducting the workers surveillance, whether it is acceptable or not, and then in the next section the theory of utilitarian will be applied for exploring the right approach about how the leaders that are working in the business environment should decide about using the surveillance (Joinson and Paine 2006). It will also depict the right approach for offering the more effective framework for the leaders towards making the leaders surveillance (Joinson and Paine 2006).
It is often viewed that the concept of surveillance can only be undertaken if the company tries to suspect whether the employees is acting in the dishonest way and even hold the reasonable cause for suspecting that the offense is actually committed under the Act of Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation 1986 (Persson 2003). Surveillance of employees depicts about the ethical dilemma, due to the advancement in the technology has it has helped in opening the avenues for having the fast increasing market along with little agreement on which the practices are presented as ethical or not (Henry and Pierce 2000).
It is noted that most of the present surveillance are done in unethical way, and through the technological advancement capabilities, it is important that the framework should be put into place for ensuring the workers that their rights are protected by the companies (Henry and Pierce 2000). It is invaded that the privacy should try to confront the different issues. The process of ethical decision making should always cover up the basic rights of each person and should also consider the differences in the culturally inherited and every person should hold the moral standards (Henry and Pierce 2000). When the leader’s decision come into the conflicting situation with the individuals or with the societal ethics, there should exist with the understanding about the conflicts and through the compassionate assessment about all the decision impacts over the other principles (Henry and Pierce 2000).
In order to ensure about the high ethical behavior of the employees, every management level as well as the non-management level of employees should try to understand the ethical decisions implications, because it relates to the personal as well as professional values (Henry and Pierce 2000). It is noted that the corporations requires implementing the Ethical code of business and then they should try to review the employees. It’s a good tool for learning about the workers by conducting the role-play or case studies (Henry and Pierce 2000). The key in this process is to learn and to make the code position accessible, as it also supports to every employee (Henry and Pierce 2000). It is actually recommended that every manager in business should try to display the code on their desk in the healthy way (Joinson and Paine 2006). Learning from the real world, and the results of negative end in the unethical behavior should be show case in order to help the ventures (Henry and Pierce 2000).
While undertaking the employee’s surveillance, it is crucial to relate it with the ethical theories in order to have the clear understanding about the ethical dilemmas and ethics that is faced by both the employees and employers (Ball and Wilson 2000). There are two issues such as issues related to the ethics of employees monitoring and the other one is ethics of the employee’s behavior (Ball and Wilson 2000). The ethics utilitarian theory that is based on the consequences need to suggest about the employers that should undertake the course of action, which also produces the better for attaining the highest appropriate stakeholders (Ball and Wilson 2000).
It is important that the employees monitoring should be viewed as the policing types in order to ensure about the good for everyone and to ensure about the misuse as well as stealing that don’t occur (Ball and Wilson 2000). This can be loosely applied in the ethical theory that this kind of activities holds the end results. The theory of Utilitarianism can help the ethical nature of monitoring the employees in that they try to seek as the highest end in the utility for many people (Ball and Wilson 2000).
It is noted that monitoring tries to ensure about the company that can remain in compliance with the laws, and also try to avoid all the expected liabilities and to stop the workers from stealing the documents, time, resources, and monitoring of employees might also assist the organization in prospering due to the enhancement in productivity (Friedman 2007). All the unethical acts as well as associated disciplines can try to consume the various organizational financial as well as human resources, such as lawsuits, impact of the staff morale, as well as compromise the information about the corporate, and can also try to lead towards the unfavorable image of the company (Ball and Wilson 2000).
There is an example about the unethical e-mail surveillance seen by the Dow chemical. This company is popular as the multinational chemical producer, which tried to take the snap shoot about the workers internet activities at the time of day (Ball and Wilson 2000). It is noted that there findings were both discouraging as well as alarming. Over the pass of days, 254 workers has received and sent the irrelevant email messages that include the violent, pornographic and discriminatory content (Ball and Wilson 2000). While all these findings can help in conducting the extensive surveillance, it is significant to note that all these workers didn’t understand about what is observed (Ball and Wilson 2000).
This actually introduces the arguments that it’s an unethical way of monitoring the behavior of the employees without informing them; this kind of employee activity need to get condemned, however it is also likely that all these activities wouldn’t have undertaken if the employees were informed that they were monitored by the company (Friedman 2007). In result of that, Dow had created the criteria for giving punishments that considered the extent of the participation by the employees, along with offensive material and what was done by the employees with the material (Ball and Wilson 2000). In the end, the company has to terminate around 20 employees. Dow also invaded about the privacy of their workers through limiting the rights related to interactional, physical, and mental privacy (Ball and Wilson 2000). It is noted that employees were actually observed unwillingly, private conversations were also acquired and all the emails were actually used as the evidence of self incriminating (Ball and Wilson 2000).
In the present time technology has made everything possible for the workers to monitor every aspect of the workers job, mainly the terminals of computers, telephones, email or through voice mail. Every activity done in the office is monitored and this monitoring is unregulated (Boyd 2010). Every worker monitoring the communication system is mainly considered as the responsible practice of business. For example, as per the American Management Association and ePolicy Institute survey conducted in 2007, 2/3rd of the workers monitor their employee’s website for the purpose of minimizing the irrelevant surfing (Boyd 2010). Around 66% of the software made in use for blocking the websites also demanded the employees off limits (Boyd 2010). As per the survey employers were more concern about the employees visiting the sexual content along with shopping, external blogs, games, and social networking sites (Boyd 2010). It was noted that half of workers has tried to track the content, along with keystrokes. Around 12% has monitored the blogs, in order to know what the employees wrote about the organization; 10% monitored the social networking sites (Boyd 2010).
Correct approach always provides the effective framework for the leaders in surveillance process as it helps in ensuring about the alignment of the interest of different stakeholders in the investors through the actual design of the complete regulatory framework and its enforcement through the monitoring as well as process of surveillance. There are many measures that could be taken by the leaders that could prevent as well as deter the loss along with negative implications related to workers monitoring (Lyon 2002). It is the responsibility of business leaders to encourage the decision making process through writing the correct code of ethics as well as offering the ethical training like discussion over the ethical scenarios and to support the employees in understanding what is actually expected (Lyon 2002). Along with this, business should consider about offering the practical help to the workers in order to handle the ethical issues, when the case comes about handling the properties of company like e-mail, computers or fax machines (Lyon 2002).
It can be concluded from the report that surveillance process undertaken by most of the company is unethical, because it’s important that companies should inform the employees that there are monitored. Therefore, it’s important that it should be done in ethical way, so that it’s doesn’t put question on the integrity of the organization and employees could also get their privacy.
Persson, A. 2003. "Privacy at Work- Ethical Criteria." Journal of Business Ethics, 42, pp. 59-70 Miller, S. 2000. "Privacy, the Workplace and the Internet." Journal of Business Ethics, 28, pp. 255- 265
Friedman, B. 2007. “Workplace Privacy: Employee Relations and Legal Implications of Monitoring Employee E-mail Use.” Employee Response Right Journal, 3, pp. 1-34.
Joinson, A. and Paine, C. 2006. “Watching Me Watching You: Privacy Attitudes and Reaction to Identity Card Implementation Scenarios in the UK.” Journal of Informational Science, 32, pp. 1-334.
Henry, J. and Pierce, A. 2000. Judgments about computer ethics: Do individual, co-worker, and company judgments differ? Do company codes make a difference? Journal of Business Ethics, 28 (4), pp. 307-322.
Ball, K., and Wilson, D. C. 2000. Power, Control and Computer-Based Performance Monitoring: Repertoires, Resistance and Subjectivities. Organizational Studies, 21(3), pp. 1-25.
Boyd, D. 2010. "Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity". Texas: SXSW.
Lyon, D. 2002. Surveillance as Social Sorting: Privacy, Risk and Automated Discrimination. Routledge.
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