Ethical Issues and Management

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Ethical Issues and Management
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“Managers perform a crucial role in organizations because they interpret company policy, execute corporate directives, fulfill all of the people management needs in their particular area of responsibility, cascade senior management messages down the chain of command, and communicate employee feedback up the chain. They are probably the most important ingredient in an organization’s success and they are frequently the most overlooked. But make no mistake about it—managers are the lens through which employees view the company, as well as the filter through which senior executives view employees.” (Trevino & Nelson, 2007) Managers are faced with many ethical issues related to hiring, performance evaluations, discipline, termination, diversity, and harassment. The topic I will concentrate on in this paper is Discipline. I will describe the moral and ethical issues faced by managers when dealing with disciplining employees, examine how the issue affects other individuals, explain how the relationship between social issues and ethically responsible management practices apply to my topic, and provide a workplace example of an ethical dilemma involving discipline at the workplace.

” Most managers view disciplining employees as something to be postponed for as long as possible. Many people in a work environment try to ignore a worker’s shortcomings in the hope that the situation will improve. Discipline, however, is important for a number of reasons: not only to ensure worker productivity, but also to set the standard that certain behaviors are expected from all employees, and to meet the requirements of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines”. (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). Implementing discipline is not only a job but also an ethical responsibility of the manager. Good manager should know how and when to discipline disruptive employee and do so in the constructive way. As stated by Trevino and Nelson (2007) “Research has given us clues about the most effective ways to discipline employees. First, the discipline must be constructive and done in a professional manner… Second, the discipline should be done privately. Employees should never be criticized in front of other employees… Third, employees should have input into the process and be encouraged to explain their side of the story. The entire idea of “team” management revolves around individuals being encouraged to share their view of a situation. The real problem may not be with the particular employee you want to discipline… Finally, discipline should be appropriately harsh and consistent with what other employees have received for similar offenses. This aspect of discipline is perhaps the most important in terms of ensuring good performance in the future.” (Trevino & Nelson, 2007) Whenever manager cannot apply discipline or is more forgiving to selected employee or employee than for others the situation may affect negatively other employees. If one employee is consistently allowed to come in late, other employees may view this behavior as unfair or simply take it as permission to come in late. On other hand if certain employees or employee is punished to harsh or not comparable to other employees he or she may take legal action against the company. Another important skill of the manager is to know when to end compassion and start disciplining employee. Many managers allow disruptive behavior based on employee’s hardships and in turn creating dysfunctional department. As mentioned previously, most managers postpone disciplining employees for as long as possible in hopes that the situation will change. However, decision to postpone discipline often turns against employee in question, other members of the department, and manager. I had opportunity to witness how lack of discipline can unravel entire department. At some point one of my coworkers, let’s name her Kathy, started coming late. My...
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