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|← An Ethical Dilemma|
The definition of ethics can hardly be given in a precise manner because of the flexibility of the term. However, in a general sense, ethics can be defined as the code of moral doctrines and values which preside over the behaviours of an individual or a group with accordance to what is right or wrong. Ethics determine good or bad conduct and help in decision making. In dealing with internal values of a corporate culture and making decisions that concern social responsibility with regards to the external environment, ethics play a major role. Managerial ethics are what managers and leaders of companies apply when making crucial decisions for their companies. These are usually based on the policies set forth by the company and also the individual decisions that are drawn from the aspect of one being a leader. Managerial ethics are important when the company is facing challenges and also come into play when the company is looking to expand its boundaries or employ more workers. These crucial decisions have to be made with precision as they can determine whether a company is going to be successful or not. These decisions may harm or benefit other people besides that company.
Managerial ethical issues can be well understood when compared with behaviours which are presided over by laws as well as by free choice. Good management greatly enhance the individuals’ morale to work even harder for the company that has hired them, bad management delivers the opposite result (Graham, 2010). However, different employees will require different management ways because of the different natures of the human beings. Good managerial ethics involve making decisions not because one is barred by a certain set of rules to do so, but one’s standards in conduct based on his principles and values on moral conduct that will take forth the company that he is working for. A decision that can be considered to be ethical is one that is legally and morally taken to be correct by the larger community rather than just the thoughts of a single person. Three domain categories normally explain the human behaviour when making decisions; the domain of codified law, the domain of ethics and the domain of free choice (Lafayete, 2009).
Codified law is where the values and the standards of a certain company have been written down. These have been incorporated within the legal system and should a manager chose to use them when making decisions, he is sure of what he is doing because they are enforceable in the courts. The lawmakers of a company in this case have already ruled that people and branches of the specified corporation have got to behave in a certain specified manner when acting on behalf of the company. An example of this was when the courts ruled that executives of Enron Corporations broke the law when they manipulated the financial results to create income and hide the debt of the company. This was not in accordance to what the company laid down in its laws when dealing with incurred debts. The domain of free choice is the complete opposite of the codified law domain. It pertains to behaviour whereby the law is not involved and an individual or a specified organization enjoys total freedom. Here, a manager may choose out of his own will to make decisions regarding the company. There is no law that bars him to the limits that he can go to when he wants to do something that he thinks will benefit the company. Between the codified law and the free choice domain is the area of ethics. Regarding ethics, there are no specified laws. However, these ethics greatly rely on the standards of conduct that normally have been based on the principles and values about a moral conduct that governs an individual when protecting a company. An example of this was when the executives at Enron Corporations encouraged employees to purchase shares and stocks of the company even though they knew the company was in turmoil and the price of these shares was going to go down. This is a perfect example of bad ethics in management of organizations.
Good and efficient managers are those that are able to lead their respective organizations by adhering to good ethics. Good ethics within an organization have very many benefits both to the employer, employees and the organization as whole. When an organization is led through the application of good ethics, strong teamwork among workers and higher levels of productivity are able to be realized. Good ethical programs have an effect of ensuring that the manner in which workers within an organization handle themselves is in line with the priorities set aside by their leaders. When workers within an organization are able to behave in the same acceptable manner, it becomes easier for the organization to meet and realize its already set targets and goals. When managers guide their staff ethically, fostering team work among them becomes an easy task as opposed to a situation where the staff and managerial team appear to be reading from different scripts. It is very difficult for an organization to prosper when there are clear disparities between what the organization expects to happen at the workplace and what is reflected by its work force. Strong teams within the work place can only be built when there is openness, integrity and the spirit of community among workers which can only be built through practicing of good managerial ethics. When good managerial ethics are practiced, they have an effect of enhancing strong motivation among employees and gear them towards high performance standards.
Good managerial ethics have an effect of ensuring that employees within an organization are supported through their meaningful growth process. It is through attention to good moral ethics at the workplace that employees are guided through their daily life circumstances. Employees need to face good and bad realities that may happen both to them and the organization in an ethical manner. When employees are guided by ethical managers there are able to go through any circumstance that may face them with the right attitude and be able to uphold high moral standards always. It is through good ethical practices that employees are able to realize meaningful growth that is both important to them as individuals and also to the organization. In the case where an organization is led by a manager that does not practice good ethics, employees are bound to gain from bad examples and they night find it very hard to deal with different circumstances that may come their way (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). If employees don’t grow in the right direction, possibilities of them becoming better leaders in future would be very slim. It should be noted therefore that a manager that upholds good ethical practices is able to produce other better managers as opposed to those that lead in unethical manner.
Managers that practice good ethics in their leadership help to keep their organizations on the safer side of the law. Good ethics just like good morals also act as an insurance policy for any organization so to speak. Managers that practice good morals ensure that whatever deals are done by the organization remain legal at all times. In recent times there has been an increasing number of cases where companies and organizations have been sued due to malpractices in their daily activities. These malpractices may range from matters to do with personnel or sometimes the effects of products produced by organizations on their clientele. Ethical principles are often geared towards legal matters and an organization that upholds good ethical practices is least able to be caught up on the wrong side of the law. Ethical issues in organizational set ups always conform to what the law expects of organizations and thus legislation. When managers give particular attention to ethical issues during various procedures ensures adherence to ethical policies and thus keep each activity within required legal standards. Matters such as proper treatment of employees in term of hiring, firing, disciplining and also evaluation, play a major role in ensuring that an organization does not cross with the law. Although it may appear sometimes to be expensive to uphold high ethical practices in an organization, it is more expensive having to deal with numerous law suits that accompany malpractice cases. Ethical programs within an organization play an important role of being able to detect any violations and unethical issues and address them in time. Such simple practices also go along way in ensuring that practices within an organization are within the law. Monitoring of ethical practices also ensures that authorities are informed in time of any malpractices. Managers that practice bad ethical practices are bound to lead an organization into legal problems which are injurious to both their careers and the well being of the organizations they represent. Good managers within an organization therefore are those that uphold high ethical standards in their practice and ensure that their organizations engage in legal practices always (EEOC).
A manager that practices good ethics in their organization ensures that the image of the organization is always good in the public eye. A good image to the public ensures that an organization enjoys higher sales and a lot of public good will. Attention to ethics is a very important tools of public relations for any organization, however, ethics should not be managed properly just for ten sake of protecting the company from the public or as a public relation’s strategy. An organization that gives particular and regular attention to issues that relate to ethics will always be able to portray a good and positive image to the public. People and the public in particular view such organizations as those that value the well being of people other than just profits and always strive to operate in manners of integrity. Being able to align the behaviours of an organization with the required values goes along way in ensuring effective marketing strategies and public relations within an organization. Managers that uphold high morals and ethical standards don’t struggle with public relation issues that regard their organization. A bad manager that does not uphold good ethical standards is always bound to struggle with the task of selling his organization’s image to the public. An organization with a bad public image will always record lower sales and may certainly collapse in the long run if not checked on time (Graham, 2010).
Good managers are those that ensure that ethical programs within their organizations are promoted always. Promotion of ethical programs has numerous benefits to the organization that includes management of values that are usually associated with good quality management, management of diversity and strategic planning. These are very important qualities within an organization that need particular attention to be nurtured. Ethical programs play a major role in the identification of an organization’s preferred values and ensuring that all behaviours within an organization are in line with required values. Managers play a major role in ensuring that values are recorded, policies and procedures developed to align with what the organization prefers. This effort in particular is very important for several other programs within the organization that require that behaviours of every person are in line with set values and they include quality management and planning of various strategies. Management of the highest quality ensures that high priority and emphasis is put on the values that guide the operation of an organization. Programs on ethical management are very useful in ensuring the management of diversity. Diversity ensures that different values of different people within an organization are acknowledged at looked at under different perspective. A bad manager therefore is one that does not put much emphasis on ethical programs within their organization and therefore foster bad ethical practices (Shah, 2010).
Good managers that uphold high ethical and moral practices have the quality that leads them to understand diversity within their organization and using that to improve the productivity of their organization. Acquiring diversity in any business helps to open them up to realization of the different demographics of markets as long as the business is able to utilize knowledge accrued from working in a diverse environment. Many businesses today like to display what has popularly been termed as an ‘Equal Opportunity Employer’ status. This simply means that business want to create an internal environment that ensures that employees and diverse values, cultures and ideas are all valued in equal measure without discrimination. Discrimination at workplaces is in itself a very contentious issue and is against the law, only managers that uphold high moral standards are able to create an environment that is free from discrimination (Schminke).
The success of any organization is completely dependant of the ethical practices upheld in its management. Good managers are those that ensure that they guide their organizations through upholding of good moral; and ethical standards. Organizations managed by managers that uphold high moral and ethical standards are bound to succeed. Any organization whose managerial staffs do not employ good ethical practices is obviously bound to fail. It is very important for any manager therefore to ensure that they encourage and practice good ethics in the process of running their respective organizations.