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Team Ethical Project 2

Managing Ethically; Contemporary Management 6 Ed., Pg 416

MGMT 311 Professor Johnnie Mashburn Fayetteville State University

Team 7
Kathryn Brown Ayesha Illahi Monique Parker Kreston Thomas


A manager can lead, motivate, and control effectively when ethical norms are established and followed by all levels of an organization. In modern day business, collecting information on employees is easier than ever and has raised concern about the ethical implications behind the process. The ethical norms of an organization are questioned when norms are undermined for profit maximization.Management may intensely monitor which deviates from standard operating procedures, the norms, and eventually the trust of its organization. Some companies collect and keep extensive records to improve the quality of their operations, but turn out to be unethical by other stakeholders. Even with management s right to exert these collection tactics based on the employee contracts, it may create new internalvalues to influence a company s norms. With norms being a part of productivity in a work environment, it is optimal that employees have high job satisfaction and feel comfortable working for their managers. It can cause an employee s behaviorto change or inhibit full productivity as well as place higher liability of a company s success. When collecting data on employees, management should inform employees of such tactics and limit the pressure now posed on its workers from intense monitoring. Worker s values shapes how well they will perform and follow SOP s (standard operating procedures). SOP s should be followed and include ethical ways of handling internal issues. When employees abandon SOP s, it may harm the company s norms which generate an unstable or fluctuating environment to lead. Leadershipshould be upheld by an ethical vision which is established in formulating SOP s that will create good norms in the work culture. When companies monitor and collect information about their employees, there are some ethical implications that can arise. Depending on the process used in monitoring and

collecting information, employees may feel like they are being harassed or a violation of privacy has occurred. The question of whether it is ethical or unethical to do this, depends on three things: 1. 2. 3. What type of position the employee holds When the monitoring and collecting of information takes place The process used to monitor and collect information

Our group believes it is more ethical to collect information during the hiring process versus once the individual becomes an employee. When a manager is going through the recruitment or selection process, it is deemed ethical to do a criminal background and/or credit history check. It is also ethical for managers to check employment references or to obtain information from previous job performances. Monitoring and collecting information by conducting monthly employee reviews and screening work pc activity is ethical. There are unethical implications in collecting data on employees as well. It is unethical for an employer to question political affiliations or social clubs. Once the individual becomes an employee of that organization, it is ethical to monitor the employee only during working hours or on premises of a company. The recording of phone calls for any reason other than quality control is unethical. Constantly, managers are setting goals and delegating tasks. They should encourage and trust their employees to completethe job tasks assigned. When subordinates are not managed loosely or unethically, it creates an uncomfortable work environment as well as strays from establishing a work culture of ethical norms. Management can focus on decentralizing authority to inspire a great responsibility in achieving company goals. Some employees can feel

low job satisfaction or heavy pressure by strict rules that are not developed with their job tasks in mind. This gives the employees more of an opportunity to be involved in planning and voice how they do their job. Managers should seek to empower their employees to increase the workplace norms that will spread values to new employees and encourage the existing work force. Empowerment will help establish these norms as seen in many successful companies today. In example, Traders Joe s is a supermarket that sales specialty items. Joe Coulombe, the founder, trusted his employees to meet company goals and to produce the outcome needed for the success of the company. He developed a friendly and personable atmosphere by engaging his employees to feel empowered in making decisions. The norms and values of the company were centered on providing excellent customer service. Coulombe had a way of leading his sales employees by offering promotions and incentives when they met organizational goals. From the beginning he recognized the need to treat employees in a fair and equitable way to encourage them to develop the customer-oriented values and norms needed to provide personalized customer service . 1 Organization can keep their values and norms from becoming too strong by influencing their Standard Operating Procedures. They can also build departments within the organization that only focuses on rules, procedures, and policies.SOP's are set of instruction and procedures that are followed routinely. It could be simple instructions of who to contact or more complex as an outlined plan of action. SOPs are created to promote efficiency and effectiveness. It should be followed by every employee in the organization to have a standard or common way of operating. However, employees can find different ways to complete his or her tasks that may

stray away from the SOP s set by management. It is possible for employees to find short cuts or cut resources to do tasks. This doesn t necessarily means that his or her way is the best way, ethical or even the safest way. A manager must find the variants from the standard processes and monitor any new changes. The new techniques or processes must be analyzed to create new SOP s. If the new processes are unethical or unsafe, then managers must stop the shortcuts and retrain employees. An example of norms becoming strong in an organization is when the SOP s are deviated and become part of the work environment. One incident occurred during a Fort Bragg brigade procedure in parachute preparation. A rigger, an individual that packs parachutes, has found a shortcut to prepare the equipment in a quicker fashion. A rigger have a very important job because if the parachutes are not folded the right way than it could cause a paratrooper a serious injury or death. SOP's are there to help control the work norms and should always be followed. Parachutes are slightly time-consuming as it takes an average of eight to twelve minutes to pack a parachute in a correct way. He found a shortcut to pack a parachute in four minutes. His procedures might not be the correct way and might cause some damage. The rigger was reprimanded when a rigger shed was randomly inspected. They opened every parachute to inspect for errors and incorrect procedures. He was caught and faced disciplinary actions. Random inspections like this will avoid values and norms from becoming strong, and employees would be able to follow SOPs strictly. The SOP s must be analyzed to make sure this new way is safe as the quickest way may cause problems in quality of the work at hand. In order to follow these new processes or ensure high quality in the standard operating procedures, an organization should make ensure a

department is responsible for enforcing the standard operating procedures.2This may entail a quality team, quality control procedures from management, and reinforcement to ensure SOP s are followed correctly. Managers must focus on setting a great work culture, whereas the norms promote ethical behavior. The term, norm, is defined as unwritten, informal codes of conduct that prescribe how people should act in particular situations and are considered important by most members of a group or organization.3 Norms aren t necessarily intended to cause unethical behavior among employees or management but sometimes leads astray from the desired environment established by the company s vision and mission. What begins as a small deviation from the standard operating procedures of a companyresults in poor quality, embellished company records, and/or slighted employees. These shortcuts or growing deviations sometimes arise to produce more with less, cut time, meet predetermined quotas, and/or to keep a desirable work environment. In some instances, a company s standard of ethical behaviors that are put into formal company documentation within the company s credo or mission statement unintentionally evolves into a set of behaviors that dishonors the very core of its company s ethical standards. At first, this deviation is relatively innocent and can easily be corrected if the company has an ethical management team who collaborate their efforts in order to educate employees. They should establish the intended codes of ethical behavior and most importantly, lead by example. When a management team or key leaders of a company recognize the presence of deviated ethical norms, choose to look the other way, or actively participate in the unethical activities, the company s credo or mission has been contrasted with a new set of growing

norms in the workplace. This may lead any employees or managers who disagree with the current state of accepted work behavior, brought about by unethical norms, to seek employment elsewhere where ethical norms reflect their own personal ethical standards and whose personal integrity will not be compromised on an everyday basis. Unfortunately, the lack of consideration for the company s original credo ormission by unethical managers or employees more results in illegal activities, poor public opinion, and ultimately, the depletion of profits that lead to bankruptcy. It may also lead to more conflict depending on the unethical severity of the norms, such as jail or prison time for participating managers and employees. The exposure and inevitable fall of Enron and its leaders, illustrates the reality of this concept. The lure of heightened profits at a quicker pace as the result of, quicker outputs and cheaper inputs seems harmless in the beginning but it is the manager s purpose to uphold standards set forth in the company s mission statement or credo. Fortune magazine writer, Bethany McClean called Enron President, Jeffrey Skilling, to discuss her findings prior to publishing the article, but he brushed her off, calling her "unethical" for not properly researching the company.3 Enron s norms were skewed by top executive mismanagement and the acceptance to inflate number in a deviant profit maximization mindset. The Enron scandal grew out of a steady accumulation of habits and values and actions that began years before and finally spiraled out of control.4a good manager will recognize when a norm becomes diverged that causes unethical practices. Management should then take the necessary steps to correct it in order to protect the reputation and long-term profits of their company. The norms of a company should be evaluated often and more emphasis should be placed on establishing ethical codes for greater responsibility of all levels of an organization.

An organization s success can rely heavily on the norms established by its management. Many ethical implications will arise if a company is focused solely on profit maximization. A work environment must include a foundation of ethics, which are monitored, controlled, and lead by the visionaries of a company or organization. The data collection of employees is an example of how some standard operating procedures can be viewed ethical or unethical. When used in the correct way, such as recruitment or selection, then a fair process has occurred that allows an organization to run effectively. When collecting data on employees happens beyond work-related functions or after hours, then the process may be considered unethical. Standard operating procedures should set the foundation of an ethical work environment. It is up to management to lead by example, keeping fairness and morale in an organization s vision and overall goals.The standard operation procedures can easily transform into new operating procedures when management strays from ethical regulation. Any member of the workforce may circulate a new tactic or procedure that may be deemed unethical, unsafe, or produce more liability on the company s success. Management should explore ways to keep an ethical environment where workers feel comfortable, secure, and produce at high job satisfaction. This will create ethical norms to function as a centralized team or at any level of the organization hierarchy for further success.

References: 1. Jones, Gareth, and George, Jennifer (2000). Contemporary Management (6thed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwinpg 11 2. Defining characteristics of corporate culture . Unpublished manuscript, School of Business, North Greenville University, Greenville, NC. Retrieved from 3. Jones, Gareth, and George, Jennifer (2000). Contemporary Management (6thed). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwinpg 50 4. McLean, Bethany; Peter Elkind. The Smartest Guys in the Room. pp. 132 133. 5. Enron Scandal. (2010). Retrieved October 2, 2010, from