Follow academic research approaches and APA citation format, including in-text citations and a References list. Materials that are found to be plagiarized are subject to disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the University as per the academic code of conduct policy.
Be well-developed and convey full understanding of managerial communication concepts.
Be organized, coherent, and unified, as well as free of spelling, structure, and grammatical errors.
Select only university-level credible sources (academic books, scholarly and professional journals). Unacceptable sources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, Wikipedia, and any Internet sources that cannot be properly checked for reliability and integrity. Sources such as blogs and other social media may not be cited.
Provide a statement of purpose and an indication of the direction of your research in the opening paragraph.
Draw clear and logical conclusions based on theories and concepts.
Preferred fonts are Calibri 11-point or Arial 11-point with 1-inch margins.
Your slides should support a presentation of 8 to 10 minutes, suitable for a business gathering in which the organization’s management team has assembled to hear a summary of your research.
The tone of your product must be business formal.
Your PowerPoint presentation, which should consist of 8 slides, should contain pertinent facts only. Do not put the research paper or paragraphs from the paper on the slides; your slides should include main ideas and highlights. Follow accepted PowerPoint style.
Topic: Ethics and Communications
You will produce a written report as well as a PowerPoint presentation about the report.
The report must maintain a sharp focus on the theory, concepts, and vocabulary of managerial communications. The topic is the object of the research; that is, your case study provides the real world situation that allows you to demonstrate that you can apply the theories and concepts to real situations. In other words: the events you describe are not the subject of the report. Rather, they are the means for you to illustrate and apply managerial theories and concepts. Your report should demonstrate the role that effective managerial communications has in promoting opportunities for business development.
The following are major social and business influences that affect managerial communication contingencies: diversity, competition and product quality, and ethics.
Although management ethics can create difficult communication decisions, organizations provide assistance with training programs and codes of ethics. In addition to these dynamics affecting contemporary communication, trends impthese two managers had different communicationly that communication will become more frequent, intense, and intercultural as it grows in importance.
A third major contingency that managers should consider when communicating is business ethics. The dangers of unethical behavior have been exemplified in recent years by major scandals in both the political and corporate worlds. Ethics charges filed against the most visible executive officer in the United States—President Bill Clinton—brought about his impeachment in 1998. A decade later, Rod Blagojevich became the first Illinois governor in history to be impeached after being accused of abuse of power, amid charges that he tried to sell the US Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama.
In the early 21st century, executives at Adelphia, Arthur Andersen, Enron, WorldCom, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, HealthSouth, and other corporations were charged with major ethics violations—accounting fraud, stock manipulation, obstructing justice, lying, and so on. In many cases the accused executives were convicted, and in some cases, their companies were even destroyed. Such events have triggered renewed concern for ethical standards in business.
Ethical dilemmas and temptations face managers at all levels, not just the political leaders and corporate executives who receive the attention of journalists. The top ethical issues in business today include corporate accounting practices, the use of social media among employees, workplace relationships (harassment), and pay equity. Consider the following examples of ethical issues in managerial communication.
The supervisor of a travel agency was aware his agents could receive large bonuses for booking 100 or more clients each month with an auto rental firm, although clients typically wanted the rental agency selected on the basis of lowest cost. The agents worked on a commission basis. Should the supervisor “warn” his subordinates, or should they be trusted to use their best judgment?
The executive in charge of a parts distribution facility told employees to tell phone customers that inventory was in stock even if it was not. Replenishing the items took only one to two days; no one was hurt by the delay. Is it ethical for the company to omit this information?
The project manager for a consulting assignment wondered whether some facts should be left out of a report because the marketing executives paying for the report would look bad if the facts were included. What is the project manager’s ethical responsibility?
A North American manufacturer operating abroad was asked to make cash payments (a bribe) to governmental officials and was told it was consistent with local customs, despite being illegal in North America. Should the manufacturer make such payments?
Answers to these questions are not easy, and in today’s atmosphere of cynicism and mistrust, little room for error exists. Chapter 2 discusses the concept of communication climate and points out that trust is essential to developing a positive communication climate. Unfortunately, managers have difficulty developing trust when so many blatant examples of mistrust surface and individual managers face conflicting ethical demands.
No concrete set of ethical rules exists. There is no law to follow. Many behaviors have not been codified, and managers must be sensitive to emerging norms and values. Sensitivity to the nuances of ethical communication is the only way to maintain employee trust.
Because no universal laws exist, what one person or group considers ethical may be unethical to another. The question of taking bribes is a good example; they are quite ethical in one country but unethical and even illegal in another. Organizations are assisting managers with the many ethical quandaries they face when communicating by providing guidelines, seminars, and workshops. In 2005, companies spent an estimated $6.1 billion on ethics training. This effort is partly in response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which makes corporate executives responsible for the unethical behavior of their employees—unless they can show that they provided ethical training for them.
Another strategy many companies use to improve communication ethics is to develop a formal code of ethics. The code clarifies company expectations of employee conduct and makes clear that the company expects its personnel to recognize the ethical dimensions of corporate behavior and communication. A code of conduct may be broad or specific and most address managerial communication. For instance, the following is taken from International Paper’s code of conduct, which is published on the company’s website.
This Code of Conduct is designed to communicate our core values of commitment, ownership, respect, and excellence, and the standards that govern our business. It also provides guidelines for navigating successfully through ethical challenges. In our competitive global environment, we sometimes encounter situations that test our judgment and integrity. When that happens, this Code will help us respond in such a manner as to uphold the IP Way and comply with the spirit and letter of the law.
Another possibility is an ethics committee or an ethics ombudsperson. With this approach, either one executive or a panel of executives is appointed to oversee the organization’s ethics and serve as a consultant to other managers. This provides an opportunity for a manager to go to one person or a group of people to seek advice when confronted with an ethical issue. The importance of such a position is demonstrated by Xerox, where the ombudsperson reports directly to the CEO.