Ethical Dilemmas

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Managers and Performance Evaluations: Ethical Dilemmas

Performance evaluations serve the purpose “to enlighten subordinates about what they should be doing better or differently,” (Culbert, 2012). However, they can often become problematic and raise serious ethical issues that would threaten the well being of the employee, manager, and company in general. There are several ethical issues which can present themselves in performance reviews which can be even further augmented by social issues going on outside the context of the company, and such ethical dilemmas can have a serious impact on the health and productivity of contemporary businesses working within an ever-increasing competitive environment. The issue of imposing a manager’s supremacy over the employee can become a major ethical issue. Essentially, performance reviews can often be seen as “intimidation aimed at preserving the boss’ authority and power advantage” (Culbert, 2012). The authority figure of the manager can often be abused, causing the employees to suffer at the hands of individuals who are over-reaching their power within the workplace. This is an ethical issue because it is allowing for a growing animosity and discrimination against employees based on the power-hungry bias some managers may exhibit. In addition, the single mind of the boss then takes authority over a wide plethora of individual employees with a variety of personal characteristics and traits. Essentially, this places the person in authority to archetype the position being reviewed, which can cause serious problems when applying that archetype to the variety of individuals working within the position. Here, Culbert suggests that “because no two people come similarly equipped, they draw upon the unique pluses and minuses they were endowed with at birth along with compensatory assets they subsequently developed. And yet in a performance review, employees are supposed to be measured along some predetermined checklist”...
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