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Discus about the Ethical Decisions in Business Organization.
Ethical behaviors are crucial in professionals’ relations between employees, employers and also with the customers. They simply refer to treating people fairly and honestly. It also involves following all the rules and regulations in a specific business environment and conducting oneself in an appropriate manner expected by the organization. An organization’s ethical conduct can either build it or destroy it. Social responsibility simply involves caring and showing concern to workers, being financially, socially and environmentally accountable. It is the role of the organization to treat all workers fairly, providing appropriate services and support to the customers, giving back to the community and being honest.
Based on the assignment given, I choose to go with an article published on February 01, 2018 in the Chron magazine by Don Rafner. The article is about ‘common ethical workplace dilemmas. Organizations tend to have many employees who are normally of different backgrounds and also have different beliefs. Hence, it is common for it to face ethical dilemmas. It is thus very crucial to come up with ways to resolve these dilemmas in an effective way so as to create a conducive working environment (Trevino, & Nelson 2016).).
One of these dilemmas is there is harassment behavior. This can be sexual, mentally or physical harassment. It is not uncommon to see co-workers harassing others especially the senior employees. One may be afraid to report such behavior to the superior as they fear being labeled as troublemakers and maybe lose their jobs. Harassment makes the working environment to be offensive, intimidating and hostile to others hence reducing the efficiency and productivity of the workers. (DesJardins & McCall 2014) To resolve this issue, the organization should develop appropriate policies that clearly stipulates the consequences if one is caught harassing others and also assure job security for those who report such incidences.
Another unethical incidence occurs in the case where an employee conducts their personal work during work time. This involves making vacation plans using company computers, using the computers to access their social media accounts, misuse the internet connections for individual use, and making lengthy private calls using the company’s telephone. This is one of the most common ethical dilemmas facing most companies in today’s world. Thus, the organization should clearly stipulate what counts as an actionable offense in the company as may argue that making calls to check on one’s family or book a doctor’s appointment is not bad (Adams Hermalin & Weisbach 2010).
Key ethical issues in an organization
Another ethical behavior facing companies today occurs in the case where employees steal from the job. It is not uncommon to hear of employees embezzling funds from the company by altering financial records. Some acts such as taking the company’s pen and taking it home may seem harmless but imagine if every employee does so (Craft 2013).). This is clearly stealing and it will affect the company in the long run as it will constantly be replacing the missing materials from the offices.
It is also not uncommon to hear of some employees taking acclaim for work done by others. This occurs especially where they work as a team where some team members may not actually do the work but demand to be recognized at the end of it (Slade & Prinsloo 2013). If they exclude them it could foment resentment and also include them in recognition for work they did not do. Thus, before the team begins any work, they should ensure that everyone is responsible for a specific task.
To curb all these negative come up with clear policies against them. They should supply every employee with a handbook that clearly explains these ethical issues and the consequences for breaking them (Hartman, DesJardins, & MacDonald 2014). The company can also carry mandatory training session for all employees to teach them about the organization ethical issues.
There several key ethical concerns that face any business organization. The most ethical issues that a business faces are trust and integrity. The concept of integrity involves conducting the business in an honest way and commitment to treating every customer fairly. Trust between a business and its customers is a key factor in its success.
A business also faces diversity ethical issues. This arises due to the fact that it has a diverse group of employees and they should all be respected (Teulon 2014). The ethical response to variety starts with drafting a diverse employees, ensuring equal opportunity in every training program. It is achieved when all employees are able to enjoy a respectful working environment and their influences are well valued.
Organizations also face decision making ethical issues. This occurs in exploring ethical dilemmas and pinpointing the accurate course of action. This includes gathering the facts, assessing relevant facts, evaluating any available actions, creating the decision, testing the decision for impartiality and reflecting on the result (Markham & Buchanan 2012). All ethical decision-making process should aim at protecting the employees and consumer rights, ensuring all beliefs and values of employees are respected, and making sure that all operations are rational and just.
How to make an appropriate ethical business decisions
The business also faces governance and compliance ethical issues. They are expected to entirely conform to the federal and state safety guidelines, the environmental regulations, monetary reporting statues and all other appropriate civil right laws. A company’s pledge to compliance is shored by its approach to corporate governance. Corporate governance is making sure that the organization is run in a responsible way and that there are accountability and transparency. It ensures that the company’s conduct is in line with the legal and ethical framework. It involves a whole set of cultural, legal and official arrangements that define what public companies can do, who controls them, how the control is carried out. Corporate social responsibility is part of the governance of the business (Schwartz 2017). It indicates how responsible the business is towards the society and the sustainability of the corporation. It occurs as a form of self-regulation in the business to create a positive impact on the stakeholders and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is a notion where companies integrate environmental and social concerns in their operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders. The business also ensures corporate citizenship (Crane & Matten 2016).). This involves the social responsibility of the corporation and the degree to which they meet ethical, legal and economic responsibilities as set by the shareholders. The aim is usually to yield high standards of living and value of life for the community that surround it and still ensure success.
Making ethical professional decisions helps a corporation garner positive and strong reputation. First, the company should create a code of ethics and do a consultation on it before making any business decisions. This will help it employees make decisions that conform to a set of rules that respect everyone. Secondly, the company should consider the effects of the decisions on all its shareholders. The decisions should address issues such as cost control, the revenue growth and client issues. They should also consider the repercussions of the decisions on everyone they affect. The decisions are made in the best interest of the stakeholders, the employees, its customers, suppliers, and people living near the company, its natural environment and also the future generation (Ford & Richardson 2013).). The company should make use of regulations as a starting point when coming up with decisions. This regulations normally require a minimum level of ethical contemplation although it is possible for the companies to function within legal standards while acting unethically.
Also, the company should make sure they consult others when they are making decisions that have widespread consequences. This consultation will help it gain a new perception on its dilemma that can help it shed light on likelihoods and any effects that may arise. They can ask for help in coming up with options and also when choosing options to follow. The company can also seek advice about an option before they implement it. Another way for the company to make appropriate ethical business decisions is by doing a review of past business decisions they made and learn from their mistakes (Woiceshyn 2011). Normally, no one can make good decisions every time but make the ethical decisions consistently it becomes easily accomplished rather than making profitable and positive ones. If the company makes and implements any decision which may seem questionable, they should ensure they act quickly to resolve the matter by doing recompense to everyone affected and also work counter the effects of the decisions.
As per my opinion, the following are the most important steps in the ethical decision process. First, the business should state the problem at hand. Secondly, they should make sure that they check the facts by closely examining the situation. Then, the business should develop relevant factors and develop a list of options to counter the problem. The company should test the options. There several tests such as harm test to determine the level of harm, publicity test, defensibility test which tells if they can defend their choice for the option, professional test and also organization test. It is also important to note the reactions that are expected to arise from the decisions.
Moral philosophies are generally a specific set of principles that help people decide on what is wrong and right (Shaw & Barry 2015).). To me, all the seven moral values are important as they help influence ethical decision-making decisions in business (Lu & Lu 2010).).
It is clear that making ethical decisions is crucial to the success of any business. Thus, every organization has the responsibility to develop ethics and code of conducts for every member of the organization. But ethical requirements for businesses are codified into law such as the minimum wages, environmental regulations and also restrictions against insider trading. It is also important to note that ethics vary from company to company depending on the nature of its business operations. A company that has consistent ethical behavior has a high positive image. Thus, to maintain a positive image, the company should operate on ethical grounds by respecting employees, respecting the environment and ensuring fair market prices and also good consumer treatment.
Adams, R. B., Hermalin, B. E., & Weisbach, M. S. (2010). The role of boards of directors in corporate governance: A conceptual framework and survey. Journal of economic literature, 48(1), 58-107.
Common Ethical Workplace Dilemmas. (2010, June 16). Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/common-ethical-workplace-dilemmas-748.html
Craft, J. L. (2013). A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 2004–2011. Journal of business ethics, 117(2), 221-259.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
DesJardins, J. R., & McCall, J. J. (2014). Contemporary issues in business ethics. Cengage Learning.
Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (2013). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. In Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 19-44). Springer, Dordrecht.
Hartman, L. P., DesJardins, J. R., & MacDonald, C. (2014). Business ethics: Decision making for personal integrity and social responsibility. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lu, L. C., & Lu, C. J. (2010). Moral philosophy, materialism, and consumer ethics: An exploratory study in Indonesia. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(2), 193-210.
Markham, A., Buchanan, E., & AoIR Ethics Working Committee. (2012). Ethical decision-making and Internet research: Version 2.0. Association of Internet Researchers.
Schwartz, M. S. (2017). Corporate social responsibility. Routledge.
Shaw, W. H., & Barry, V. (2015). Moral issues in business. Cengage Learning.
Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(10), 1510-1529.
Teulon, F. (2014). Ethics, moral philosophy and Economics. Financial Economics, 28-8.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Woiceshyn, J. (2011). A model for ethical decision making in business: Reasoning, intuition, and rational moral principles. Journal of business Ethics, 104(3), 311-323
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