Business ethics refers to appropriate and necessary organizational policies as well as practices relative to potentially controversial subjects including corporate governance, discrimination, corporate social responsibility. It is crucial for a business to have proper ethics within its operations and activities in order to ensure that it follows all the guidelines and have positive relations with its various stakeholder in an optimal manner. In addition to this, the incorporation of business ethics within an organization allows in establishing a positive working environment which is essential to keep the employee motivated and ensure that a harmonious work environment is presented to them as it allows in ensuring that all their employees have a positive attitude towards the organization and its operations. Business ethics is important for a business as it allows for improving the brand image of the organization relative to investors and employees. The following essay is based on the provided case study of Lisa.
According to the scenario, Lisa who has been a colleague for five years and met in management training programs has recently had a baby and plans to utilize the six months of maternity leave provided by the organization and hopes to take full advantage of the situation. The organization has told her that her job position will be retained for her and will be given back once she arrives back from her maternity leave. In recent times it is noticed that her job position has been posted as available while she is on her leave. According to her college, the organization has decided to give up her job position to a capable candidate and will prove Lisa with some other job position when she returns to work. Relative to business ethics the organization is being discriminatory towards Lisa based on the concept of pregnancy discrimination which refers to treating pregnant or new mothers unfavourably at work, it includes an employer not holding up to their end of the agreement that is made to such women and denying them their right. In relation to the scenario, the organization had told Lisa that her job was secure which Lisa left for her leave as she was sure that when she returns her job will be still hers (Collins & Kanashiro, 2021). Although according to the scenario it can be observed that the management has decided to give up her position to someone else without notifying Lisa about it and keeping her under false impression that her job is still in place. Although the organization has not decided to let goof Lisa, but rather look for another position within the business it is still unethical that Lisa isn’t consulted about the overall situation and is kept out of it in order to avoid any form of hindrance in the business operation of the organization (Sison & et. al. 2018). Moreover, the business can be doing so in order to avoid legal issues and employers that commit pregnancy description violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and can face legal action which will harm the overall reputation of the organization.
The overall scenario gives rise to the dilemma that it is ethical for the business to not tell Lisa about the overall situation while she is on her maternity leave. The organization has set out to fill the job position for Lisa without telling her which is unethical to various extents as she has not been informed that her position is posted as vacant. At some stages, it also violates her human rights as before she left for her leave she was ensured that when she returns her job position will be available for her. The dilemma is further completed as Lisa has been working for the organization for five years which shows that she is dedicated as well as ethical towards the business (Melé, 2019). Relative to the scenarios such a situation negatively impacts the ethics of the business as they are not taking the efforts put in by Lisa in the operation of the organization. In addition to this, the dilemma is also based on why the organization have omitted to tell Lisa of the present situation and what actions they are taking relative to her job position is it to avoid legal issues or they do not consider the overall reaction of Lisa relative to her efforts and hard work that she has put in the last five years. The overall situation is only complicated as Lisa is being discriminated against based on her situation of being a new mother and taking maternity leave (Parboteeah & Cullen, 2018). This can be due to the organization not placing emphasis on what level of performance as well as productivity will Lisa is able to provide once she returns as well as les faith in her returning. Even then the ethical route would be to consult and ask Lisa what her intentions are and if she is alright letting her job position go to someone else in exchange for a new position when she returns. Based on her response the organization could have taken appropriate steps which would ensure that it is able to stay ethical relative to its business operations and do right by Lisa once she returns from her maternity leave (Ugoani, 2019).
There are various moral stakeholder that are being impacted by the presented scenario consisting of Lisa, the organization and the other employee as well. Relative to Lisa, the organization had ensured her that her job position will be available once she returns from her six-month maternity leave. As she is a valuable and hardworking employee based on her being within the organization for five years is morally incorrect to not inform her about her job position and what actions are being taken on her behalf while she is away from work (Hackney & Perrewé, 2018). It can also be perceived as a form of discrimination towards her based on her overall situation if other employees were on an extended leave their job position would not be posted as vacant and the organization would consult with the employee on when they will resume working. In the context of the organization, as a moral stakeholder, the organization has to decide whether its actions are in accordance with its business ethics as well as rules and regulation (Ciulla, 2020). It is important that the management evaluate the overall situation in order to understand that if they go through with these steps they can face legal issues based on discrimination against Lisa. In addition to this, the other employee as well as myself would be the moral stakeholder as observing such practice reduce the morale of employee to a greater extent and reduces their performance. Moreover, it reduces the overall trust in the management in complying with the set business ethic standards which are meant to be non-discriminatory in nature in order to serve each and every employee the same. As for myself, it is a complex situation to weather notify Lisa about the overall situation that is taking place within the organization and inform her about how her job position is posted as vacant or to do as I am told in order to not be portrayed negatively within the organization (Young, 2019).
Although the dominant schools of moral deontological which is not based on consequences it can be argued that the step taken by the organization is appropriate. This is based on the assumption that many new mothers declare that they will return to work after their maternity leave and do not show up. This leads to the waste of organizational resources as well as time which negatively impacts its performance and productivity (Wasieleski & et. al. 2019). In addition to this, the organization go to various lengths in order to keep the job of an employee who is on maternity leave only to have those workers leave at the end once their leave is exhausted. This can be seen as an unfair practice towards the organization as it would have to waste its time, money and resources to hire and train new employees if Lisa decides not to work after her leave. Although this moral theory does not focus on the fact that Lisa should know the overall truth as she has the right to make her own decision without being misled by falsehoods (Brennan & et. al. 2021). At the same time, it can be argued that the managers of the organization have the overall right to make decisions about the employees without extending their deliberations to them at all as well as its effects. It can be said that the organization and its managers did not lie to Lisa about the situation, as they only omitted to tell her the truth about what they are planning relative to her job position. In addition to this, relative to the scenario both the parties have moral conflicts as the organization is focused and worried based on Lisa not coming back to work which will lead to a huge loss of time and money whereas in the case of Lisa, she has not been informed about the overall situation by anyone which will make her feel discriminated based on the situation when she returns (Storchevoy, 2018). This can have a negative impact and be considered a wrong approach in handling the situation on the part of the organization as it is choosing an unethical path on the bases of assumption without consulting with Lisa or the other members of the organization. Moreover, the decision is also disregarding the time and effort Lisa has put into the organization of over the last five years which makes the decision even more unethical and demoralizing in nature.
On the contrary, teleological morals can also be utilized for a particular scenario which is all about consequences. In context to the scenario, if the organization performs the step of giving her job position of Lisa to someone else and offering her another position within the business, it could have major consequences as Lisa will feel that the organization has cheated her based on what she was told when she left for her maternity leave (Shapiro, 2018). In addition to this, she can even take legal steps that will negatively impact the organization's image along with its available resource in a significant manner. The organization could have taken a much better approach which would have been ethical and sits correct with the established organizational guidelines. Under the assumption that most mothers do not resume work once they have exhausted their maternity leave, the organization could have filled the place with an individual for the duration of the six months and fulfilled the needs on a temporary basis (Bevan, 2020). This would be beneficial for the organization to train the new employee in different acres of the organization in order to ensure that if Lisa decides to come back and resume her work at the discussed job position the other position can be filled by the new employee. This would have saved the organization valuable resources such as time and cost (Freeman, Parmar & Martin, 2020). This would also the organization to secure itself from both legal hindrances as well as gain assurance that if Lisa decided to not come to work after her maternity leave ends she have a trained new employee ready to take her job position. This is a much better approach as it helps in keeping everyone secure and falls in line with the business ethical standards which improve organizational performance as well as the motivation of the employee in an optimal manner. Moreover, relative to ethics this approach would also do justice to the efforts and time put in by Lisa for the organization and would show appreciation for the work she has done in the past five years (Eaton, 2019).
From the above essay, it has been concluded, that business ethics serve a major role in ensuring the enhancement of the laws and rules that are outlined as well as accepted behaviour beyond government control. In addition to this, it is also important in order to promote integrity among the employee and gain the trust of key stakeholders. Moreover, the essay concluded that various arguments can be developed relative to a particular scenario and each argument has to be evaluated in order to determine which is a better alternative and provide benefits to all the relevant stakeholders in order to minimize any chances of a conflict.
Books & Journals:
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