Operations Management and Ethics

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How organizations function successfully within society and a particular industry depends solely on the management of day-to-day operations. Operations management encompasses various related activities but its focus is on carefully managing the day-to-day processes of an organization to produce and distribute its services and/or products. Major activities that are related to operations management include: product creation, purchasing, development, production, inventory control, and distribution. Its strategy is to optimize design, operation, and improvement of decision making while reducing operational cost and expenses and improving efficiency (UOP, 2006).

A great deal of operational management's focus is to measure and analyze an organization's internal processes. Often times ethical issues come into play when attempting to measure, analyze, and improve internally. Ethical issues can be very challenging to an organization's management when the organization is comprised of individuals with differing ethical beliefs. It is because of this that it becomes vital for an organization to establish basic ethical principles. Even with ethical principles in place, uncontrollable situations may occur in the day-to-day operations. In the long-term care industry individuals are responsible for the well-being of their patients. Consider this following example: At a nursing home where individuals live and depend on others to care for them 24 hours a day, a family had reported to administration they witnessed a couple of employees using illegal substances on company property then returning to work. After careful investigation of this allegation administration decided to implement a random drug screening to all current employees including mandatory drug screening for all administration. Some employees, of course, did not agree to take the drug test and therefore resigned immediately. After reviewing the results, those who did not pass the test were terminated....
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