How Ethical Principles Can Address Organizational Issues:
An Examination of U.S. Government Acquisitions
October 15, 2014
In discussing the relationship between ethical principles and organizations, we will first examine the influence the external environment can have on organizational ethics. The relevance of these social pressures and the issues they can cause will also be explored. This will be followed by an analysis of the relationship between ethical issues and legal standards. To illustrate these ethical principles in context, the organization highlighted in this paper is the U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA). External social pressure has become a chief driver in business ethics. The old saying that perception is reality resonates loudly when influencing organizational ethics. The GSA is a purchasing agent for the federal government. In an information age where social medial can significantly impact a company’s reputation, it is not hard for a company to make a mistake and then have that mistake spread throughout social media. News can spread rapidly when companies fail to observe social standards, For example, the GSA drew sharp criticism when the agency spent $822,000 of taxpayer money to fly (300) bureaucrats to a luxurious spa and casino outside Las Vegas for an over-the-top conference in October 2010. As an agent of the U.S. government, the GSA is responsible for being a good steward of tax payer money. GSA’s chief priority is to deliver a better value and saving to the federal government and to the U.S. tax payers. The U.S. taxpayer, therefore, has a reasonable expectation that business and commerce will be conducted responsibility and not cause any type of serious damage. The perceptions, as well as the ethical failings, involved in the Las Vegas incident compromised that expectation. These issues have resulted in major changes for GSA. In 2012, GSA’s acting administrator, Dan Tangherlini, said in his...
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Rein, L. (2012). Tangherlini hoping changes after scandal will ‘bake’ into GSA’s DNA. (Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/tangherlini-hoping-changes -after-scandal-will-bake-into-gsas-dna/2012/09/11/4448b43c-fc57-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_story.html)
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