INDIVIDUAL COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Table of Contents
An overview of the selected organizational issue. 3
Ethical analysis of the selected organizational issue. 4
Management analysis of the selected organizational issue. 5
Proposed recommendations for resolving the organizational issue. 7
Ethical behaviour at the workplace is all about carrying things in the right manner, and if it is not followed, then unethical situations arise. This assignment is all about an unethical problematic situation, which I faced at my workplace while carrying out a team project. Thus, the purpose of this assignment is to not only cover the aspects based on which a specific situation can be termed as unethical but also discuss the most probable techniques to solve that specific unethical situation. Hence, this assignment aims at providing an overview of the unethical situation, I went through, then analysing that situation from an ethical perspective, where different theories are to be applied, then analysing the same situation from a managerial perspective, where again various suitable theories are to be applied and then finally recommending solutions to the specific situation. Lastly, the entire assignment is to be summed up by providing the most significant findings obtained in different sections as concluding statements for this assignment. However, the major focus of this assignment is to gain knowledge and skills about analysing a specific situation from different views and applying the most-suited theories based on ethics to that situation.
Working in a recognized or reputed firm always adds value to an employee or candidate’s profile, although working ethically there sometimes gets turned into a problematic situation for one. The same thing happened to me in my workplace, where I was working in a team aimed at creating an effective marketing campaign. The team consisted of seven members, and a few of them put their 100% to develop the expected marketing campaign. I put more than 100% of my efforts to make that campaign as per my leader and management’s expectations. However, what I experienced there made my morale down, confidence low, and expectations zero. Putting my 110% to a specific project led me to experience partiality, discrimination, and negative light from the leader to whom I kept my other works aside only to make this project successful.
This situation was led by my team leader and manager, where they gave all credit to only two team members, who have not done major things, although have a productive relationship with my mentor and management. Apart from this, I was claimed that I missed this opportunity to be credited for the overall projects’ success as they found me not putting in 110% effort. I experienced such an unethical problematic situation, where I could not even raise my voice against this discrimination as my team leader was involved in it. This situation taught me how others can take credit for their work without putting in at least 50% of their efforts. I witnessed in this situation that those two teammates grabbed all the accolades, which only I but also my other team members deserved behind the success of that project. I further witnessed that since I am not having the same power relationship as my other two members have, then how much hard labour I put into any project will never be considered in this company, especially sharing the same team with those two members.
Organizational unethical behaviour can be defined as the actions being taken by any member of the organization in violation of accepted norms (Klein and Shtudiner, 2021). Applying this definition to the above situation can help me to consider the above situation as an unethical one, for instance, my mentor and manager by giving my credit to those teammates, who share a strong bond with them, violated the accepted norms. Here, my mentor utilized socialized power and personalized power. Socialized power refers to the power utilized for the benefit of other people and personalized power refers to a power utilized for personal gain (Medina, Lopez and Medina, 2020). For instance, my mentor utilized socialized power to benefit those two members by giving them recognition of the “reason” behind that project’s success, and since those members share a good relationship with the manager, my mentor utilized personalized power to benefit herself by appraising those two members only. Considering all these facts encountered in that project declares that the respective situation is unethical and it is ethically problematic because even being a member of that team, I could not raise my voice against partiality or discrimination since I have not that power relationship with my mentor or manager.
This theory evaluates and judges the actions taken by a moral agent as per their consequences (Joppová, 2018). It seems to be for the consequentialist the most basic of every single moral principle, the one from that all others derive. Sylvan (2020) commented that consequentialist is committed towards the totalizing assumption, which the overall consequences of whatever seems to directly be evaluated by the theory need to figure in the rightness’ determination. Applying this theory to the respective situation reveals that the action taken by my mentor was entirely wrong as it results in lowering not only my morale but also other four members’ morale. The consequences of the mentor’s actions adversely affected the mental-health condition of each member including me and I expect those two. Hence, as per the result of my mentor’s action that is lowering morale, confidence, and expectation, the action of the mentor is found to be wrong. Applying such action that is giving credit to others to the non-deserving member’s results in negative outcomes that are morale-down, lower confidence, and credibility-loss. This theory leads me to evaluate and judge the action, which my manager and mentor took for the sake of personal gain, hence I found that their action seemed to be harmful as it imposed negative effects on me and other members, thus it is wrong. Even application of all three types of consequentialist theory, the overall expected result seems to be bad.
A theoretical perspective
After addressing this issue to the higher authority, the managerial perspective seemed to be in favour of me as they reacted aggressively to this situation. The management of my organization planned to apply consequentialist theory of ethics hence they decided to re-evaluate the entire situation by organizing a session with every single member including the manager involved in this situation. In order to evaluate the action and its consequences, my management planned to apply the norms of fairness, motivate each one indulged in this situation, and imply EDM (ethical decision-making models). This model supports a notion stating that an individual is more likely for accessing moral awareness that ethical behaviour needs whenever given more time for thinking (Zhang et al., 2020). Emotion-work such as being caring, empathic, managing emotions, and compassionate is a dimension of ethics at workplace. Since, action was wrong and consequences were bad, hence, this also, my management expected to incorporate in the workplace. Thus, for addressing the “specific situation”, my management planned to judge the situation by using the possible evidences such as CCTV footage, every member’s last performance, each one’s leads, rapport with other stakeholders such as shareholders, customers, and suppliers, and, their loyalty with supplier’s relationship.
Perspectives on the efficacy
Fairness as one of the tools and techniques in the performance appraisals always imposes effects on the ethical decision-making of employees (Lašáková, 2017). This fairness got lacking when I and my performance were to be appraised, which morally and ethically affects my decision-making approach whether to carry the same passion for next projects or hamper my own productivity-level. Ethical principle of fairness as one of the tools is shown by my firm’s HRM as its violation by mentor and manager has already caused a laissez-faire organizational climate, which promoted unethical conduct. Currently, my management’s decision involved moral-value, law, and business ethics and going through five stages as one of the tools in making an ethical decision towards this unethical problematic situation such as recognizing the moral-issue, making moral-judgements, establishing more intent, and then engaging in moral behaviour. Leadership as a tool plays a major role in management as an effective leader engages people around a shared value and goal (Gigol, 2020). In my case, my leader also played an important role in mismanagement because my mentor lacked a true inner-self and authenticity. Thus, my management’s decision involved internal-audit and evaluation of the situation with the purpose of my business.
Perspectives on ethical issues related to other stakeholder
In order to analyse different aspects of this issue, my management’s decisions include reviewing the overall situation from both different stakeholder’s perspectives such as employee (me) and management (mentor). However, critically evaluating this decision reflects that the management seems to be fair enough as the management offers a scope to both the ends to present their concerns. Then, its decision indulged “loyal-community” as a stakeholder to look over the concerns presented by both the sides and document the dishonest behaviour (if identified) by the leader. Dishonest behaviour refers to a deliberate conduct, which violates the accepted norms in the organization, with an aim of making immaterial or material benefit (Jaakson et al., 2017). My HRM department as a stakeholder decided to provide me a way to voice my concern about unethical behaviour of any person irrespective of their position and bring some changes in their policies and procedures.
After analysing the above situation and incorporating my learning regarding various stakeholders’ responsibility issues, I can identify that my firm’s overall ethical values seem to be appreciable enough; however, a few stakeholders violated the accepted norms. Hence, it is recommended to my organization for resolving this kind of organizational issue that they need to change the entire organizational policy & procedure aimed at “Justice for All” that needs to be started with the hiring process. Justice seems to be important not only for organizations and individuals, but also for an effective functioning of social-relationships (Hillebrandt and Barclay, 2020). In addition, it is also recommended to train the leaders by making them learn about social learning theory. A leader, in an organization, is most likely for possessing the qualities, perceived competence, status, and power (Ogunfowora, Maerz and Varty, 2021).
What I experienced in this situation is the partial behaviour of my mentor, however a mentor is found to be an influential model as a leader occupies central roles in the organization. Thus, training a leader to be that model could make my leader’s behaviour highly visible and appreciable to me and my colleagues. However, one way for examining a decision or behaviour’s morality is for differentiating between the action or decision’s content and the governance process, which could lead to that behaviour or decision (Perry, Christensen and Hassan, 2020). It is further recommended to my company to differentiate between content of the action and their governance process leading to that action, and further focus on applying PSM (Public Service Motivation). Consideration of stakeholder’s viewpoint and responsibility in a specific situation can also play an important role in evaluating any problematic unethical situation. It seems to be important for the employees that they could have an easy way for reporting their concerns and for their firm for putting in place the protocols, policies, and training regarding any unethical behaviour. A few steps could help the respective company to overcome or avoid such situation that happened to me resulted in shearing my credibility:
After analysing the overall scenario, it can be concluded that an unethical conduct in any workplace always imposes serious consequences if left unaddressed. I can conclude from the above sections that carrying such conduct in a workplace can also create a toxic working environment within which every single employee including the business suffers. However, application of ethical theory always leads to a contributing outcome that could not only help to identify the root-cause of such unethical conduct but also to identify the consequences of that action. However, comparing the consequentialist and non-consequentialist theory reflects that consequentialist theory offers better outcomes, which usually are accepted by every member of an organization including the moral agent. In addition, for being legal, ethical, and responsible, it is important to have an effective and efficient code of conduct that keeps every single unethical conduct away from the workplace and has strict punishment against such conduct.
Gigol, T., 2020. Influence of authentic leadership on unethical pro-organizational behavior: The intermediate role of work engagement. Sustainability, 12(3), p.1182.
Hillebrandt, A. and Barclay, L.J., 2020. How cheating undermines the perceived value of justice in the workplace: The mediating effect of shame. Journal of Applied Psychology.
Jaakson, K., Vadi, M., Baumane-Vitolina, I. and Sumilo, E., 2017. Virtue in small business in small places: Organisational factors associated with employee dishonest behaviour in the retail sector. Journal of retailing and Consumer Services, 34, pp.168-176.
Joppová, M.P., 2018. Spinozian consequentialism of ethics of social consequences. Ethics and Bioethics (in Central Europe), 8(1-2).
Klein, G. and Shtudiner, Z., 2021. Judging severity of unethical workplace behavior: Attractiveness and gender as status characteristics. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 24(1), pp.19-33.
Lašáková, A., 2017. On organisational factors that elicit managerial unethical decision-making.
Medina, A., Lopez, E. and Medina, R., 2020. The unethical managerial behaviours and abusive use of power in downwards vertical workplace bullying: a phenomenological case study. Social Sciences, 9(6), p.110.
Ogunfowora, B., Maerz, A. and Varty, C.T., 2021. How do leaders foster morally courageous behavior in employees? Leader role modeling, moral ownership, and felt obligation. Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Perry, J., Christensen, R.K. and Hassan, R.S., 2020. Does public service motivation foster justification of unethical behaviour? Evidence from survey research among citizens.
Sylvan, K.L., 2020. Reliabilism without Epistemic Consequentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 100(3), pp.525-555.
Zhang, H., Shi, Y., Zhou, Z.E., Ma, H. and Tang, H., 2020. Good people do bad things: How anxiety promotes unethical behavior through intuitive and automatic processing. Current Psychology, 39(2), pp.720-728.
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