Motivating Employees to Behave Ethically

Topics: Ethics, Motivation, Business ethics Pages: 8 (2299 words) Published: May 9, 2013
How might an Organisation motivate it's Employees to behave ethically?

1.0 Introduction: How Might an Organisation Motivate it's Employees to Behave Ethically? This essay will explore and examine how an individual's own Ethic's might affect him/her to behave in an organisation who's company ettiquete or ethic's might be similar or different from that of the individuals. Three different motivational theories will then be explored in depth and applied to encouraging Employee's to behave ethically as well as some of the potential cons of applying these theories.

The three theories that will be explored in the essay are
1. Expectancy Theory
2. Social Cognitive Theory
3. Goal Setting

Expectancy Theory at it's most basic level is a motivation theory that is based on the idea that work effort that is direceted toward different behaviours will result in desired outcomes. Unlike some other motivaional theories Expectancy Theory is grounded in rational logic to predict the chosen direction, level and persistence of motivation. Expectancy Theory involves the use of 3 different elements. Effort to Performance Expectancy, Performance to Outcome Expectancy and Outcome Valences.

Social Cognitive Theory is a theory that states that most of the learning an idividual does occurs by observing others, copying certain behaviors that lead to favourable outcomes and avoiding behavior types that lead to negative consequences. Social Cognitive Theory consists of Behaviour Modelling, Learning Behavior Consequences and Self-Reinforcement.

Goal Setting is the process of motivating individuals and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing their role perceptions. Though the idea telling someone what they must ultimately achieve may sound simple Goal Setting is divided into six different parts. Specific Goals, Relevant Goals, Challenging Goals, Goal Commitment, Goal Participaion (Sometimes) and Goal Feedback.

The theories explored need not be used exclusively as they can often compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. Take for example how Expectancy Theory operates largely on an internal level as the individual himself may choose to devote his efforts to a certain behavior that may result in an expected outcome. However, to have first arrived at this “expected outcome” the individual could have been influenced by having observed other employees in his/her workplace and the resulting consequences. The individual could then have his expectancies influenced or molded by what he has learnt through the ideas implied by the Social Cognitive Theory. Another potential link up that could be used between different theories would be that of Goal Setting and Expectancy Theory. During the Goal Commitment portion of Goal Setting the goals set should ideally be set to so that employees do not lose the motivation to actually achieve them. As the lower the expectancy that a employee might have to actually accomplishing the goal the less motivated he/she would be to actually do so.

1.1 What is Ethical Behavior?

Before moving on to further explore the three theories introduced in the previous section we must first define what exactly is Ethical Behavior or Ethics. Ethics as defined by the Cambridge dictionary as “A system of accepted beliefs that control behavior, especially such a system based in morals.”

Ethics in Organisational Behavior can also be explained by three different Ethical Principles.

The first of these three principles is Utilitrianism. Utilitrianism is the belief that an individual would make choices that benefit the good of his fellow men at the expense of himself or that the choices he would make would bring upon more joy than suffering. A probable example of this in the workplace would be an employee taking upon himself extra responsibility even if it is not entirely expected of him to help benefit his colleagues e.g. Working overtime to cover another person's shift or doing work that is not within his...
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