Write about the Three Distinct Perspectives of Applied Ethics for Professional Ethics.
Organizations have been facing ethical dilemmas on various issues. The ethical dilemma selected for this task is the use of social media in organizations. This dilemma had been occurred in an organization in February 2018. Social media is a platform through which organizations are able to stay in regular touch with the potential and current customers. Use of social media in organizations has helped the exposure of numerous industries as well as firms (Evonomie, 2018). The use of social media has been an ethical dilemma for the organization. It helps the organizations in many aspects but it had also affected the working environment of the company and enthusiasm among the employees. Companies face various issues while implementing social media into their business (Evonomie, 2018). This task discusses regarding the issues faced by that particular organization in the perspective of professional ethics, sociological ethics and psychological ethics.
Professional Ethics Perspectives
Using social media in work place has various impacts on the employers and employees of an organization. The impacts are good as well as bad. The issues faced by the organization due to usage of social media such as misusing company resources and conflicts among the interests of people. Some more issues regarding the use of social media in organizations are mentioned below
- Personal and professional lives: social media use in organization has the chances of implicating the business concerns. Some employees post on the website of the company saying about their hectic schedule at office due to some urgent work (Silverman, 2016). Sometimes they post things like “working in the weekends due to problems in the ABC product”. This lets people in social media know regarding the problems faced by the company whereas these information are supposed to be confidential and not shared in social media. The usage of social media has increased the online activities of the employees, which has merged their professional and personal lives (Silverman, 2016). The social media platform is so tempting that employees tend to share almost all information regarding the whereabouts in their life; this makes them share confidential information of the company unintentionally.
- Social media policy: the policies of organizations are set when the organization is set up, and they are rarely changed. The changes in organization policies take place when it is felt important by the higher authority. The use of social media has been benefitting the companies in many ways (Bryman, 2016). As a result, the organizations do not tend to create policies on the use of social media. This brings about ethical issues in the professional life of the employees. Social media policies help to protect the brand image of the company. It also helps in managing the actions of their employees and their expectations.
- Sensitive information: use of social media in organizations for various purposes is an exciting factor for the employees. Sometimes the employees share some important information on social media regarding the design, architecture or working principle of the organization that were not supposed to be posted online (Chell, Spence & Perrini, 2016). This is a major issue, which creates ethical problems in the organization because revealing such information online might attract unwanted attention. This as a result might create various problems for the organization.
- Footprints: it is known that social media is of great use for organizations. Employees can refer to social networking sites for extracting information that is necessary for carrying out their work (Ngai, Tao & Moon, 2015). In this process, they switch between various websites, which makes them leave cyber footprints behind them. With the help of these footprints, it is easy collect information regarding the user and the organization where the user works. This information can be collected by private organizations such as Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and many more.
- Recognizing the social media: each social media platform has their individual language and conventions. This is ignored by most of the employees while posting regarding any update of the organization and share the same post in all the social media platforms (What Is the Real Impact of Social Media?, 2018). Sharing the same post in various social media platforms make the customers think that they are automated or fake. This is also a professional ethical problem faced by the organization.
- Ignoring comments: In most of the organizations, the posts made by the employees are not checked. These posts might get some comments, which can be used as an analysis of the thoughts of customers regarding the company (Fuchs, 2017). The comments might be regarding some loopholes noticed by customers or some suggestions given by them in order to improve their products and services.
- Hash tags: the trend of hash tags has made people utilizing them wherever they want. It is an outstanding marketing resource as well as an engagement tool. Using hash tags in an inappropriate place may cause unwarranted attention. It may also result in a misinterpretation of a marketing campaign. This is an ethical issue because it might cause hijacking of the hash tag and result in a series of unwanted postings.
- Philosophical Ethics Perspectives
Using social media in organization causes numerous issues in the philosophical ethics. These issues are mentioned below.
- Spamming: the over publicity of unasked promotional facts about the organization is also an unethical act. In the process of spamming, the users are provided information regarding something that does not interest them and in some cases even if they are interested, it is difficult to swallow them (Bertrand, 2018). Sometimes in social media sites, we get notifications from various pages regarding any post that has been done in it. Such information is not necessary to people most of the times. People might block these pages in order to get no more updates from that particular page. In this situation, the information that might be necessary for the user would be ignored because they would be under the pile of information. This abandons the user from important information that might be very necessary (Bertrand, 2018). As a result spamming is an ethical issue for the organization that is caused due to the use of social media.
- Privacy of the company: the privacy of the company is hampered when every activity of the organization is posted on social platforms (Christians, Richardson & Fackler, 2015). There are information that are not meant to be shared publicly such as plans of the company, plans regarding the operational changes made by the company or a new policy added to it and many more.
- Privacy of the employees: sharing information regarding the organization would lead in revealing the identity of the employee (Voshel, & Wesala, 2015). The eavesdroppers might steal information regarding the organization as well as the employee of the organization who had posted. This might affect the employee in a negative way.
- Sociological/Descriptive Ethics Perspectives
The use of social media results in various sociological issues. These issues are mentioned below
- Slacktivism: the use of social media in organizations has decreased activism and increases slackivism among the employees (Chell, Spence & Perrini et al., 2016). Various employees post regarding the problems created due to some mishaps occurred in the organization. These posts are not translated into actions in most of the cases. This is called slackivism. Slackivism is an ethical issue that can be faced by organization.
- Brand image: continuous updates regarding the organization’s whereabouts creates an impact on its brand image. The brand image depends on the updates posted by the employees (Townsend & Wallace, 2016). Suppose if an employee posts regarding a problem occurred in one of its products or the operations of the organization, the customers would find it risky to buy the products or trust the company any more. If the loopholes a company were portrayed to the customers, they would lose the trust in the company.
- Eavesdroppers: the information shared by the employees in social media platforms regarding the organization might be sensitive. This information should not be shared through social media because eavesdroppers collect these information and cause harm to the organization by various means (Trevino & Nelson, 2016). The information might be sold to the competitive organization or can be used against the company.
Bertrand, C. J. (2018). Media ethics and accountability systems. Routledge.
Bryman, A. (2016). Social research methods. Oxford university press.
Chell, E., Spence, L. J., Perrini, F., & Harris, J. D. (2016). Social entrepreneurship and business ethics: Does social equal ethical?. Journal of business ethics, 133(4), 619-625.
Christians, C. G., Richardson, K. B., Fackler, M., Kreshel, P., & Woods, R. H. (2015). Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, CourseSmart eTextbook. Routledge.
Ethics in Social Media - Evonomie. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.evonomie.net/2018/03/27/ethics/ethics-in-social-media/
Fuchs, C. (2017). Social media: A critical introduction. Sage.
Ngai, E. W., Tao, S. S., & Moon, K. K. (2015). Social media research: Theories, constructs, and conceptual frameworks. International Journal of Information Management, 35(1), 33-44.
Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. Sage.
Townsend, L., & Wallace, C. (2016). Social media research: A guide to ethics. University of Aberdeen, 1-16.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Voshel, E. H., & Wesala, A. (2015). Social media & social work ethics: Determining best practices in an ambiguous reality. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 12(1), 67-76.
What Is the Real Impact of Social Media?. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.simplilearn.com/real-impact-social-media-article