Most workers understand that they must balance their home life and their career. But how they go about doing this is what most struggle with even today. A manager needs to think about their most resourceful asset, their employees. When you are a manager, you have the tough decisions to make in keeping with the company’s goals, but striving to make money for your stockholders as well. This paper will discuss the following two questions. What are the ethical implications of requiring that employees dedicate long hours and extensive travel time to their careers? What obligations, if any, does a manager or employer have to enable employees to create a balanced professional and private life? The ethical dilemma for managers would be to ask themselves: is my decision the one that produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people, using the efficiency and effectiveness measurements. Is it productive to have employees work that many hours? Are they getting the job completed, but is the completed job done correctly? Is this time system appropriate for the company to ask their employees to work, is it actually necessary? Managers need to utilize the decision making rules to make sure that they are being fair, by remaining unbiased and acting appropriately in situations where the company needs to balance their interest with the interest of the employee (George & Jones, 2011). According to the Journal of Managerial Psychology, overworked employees with workloads that are unreasonable can cause undue pressure, impossible deadlines, and unnecessary disruptions in the workplace. This could be construed as workplace bullying or abusive supervision. Because overworked employees are more likely to make mistakes that could potentially be very costly. They could also feel anger or resentment toward their employer or coworkers. This could all lead to those employees looking for work elsewhere (Avery, 2010). There are a lot of decisions that need to be made; therefore it is imperative that the manager think things through using the societal, professional, and individual code of ethics (George & Jones, 2011).
A question that most managers and companies are asking do we have an obligation to help balance an employee’s work and private life. Managers have a responsibility to the company as well as its employees. If a company or manager is going to set the long hours for employees then they have an obligation to see that this is fairly presented. I guess you could say they the manager and company are morally obligated to help with balancing an employee’s work and private life. There is no law, the only binding contract would be the employee’s employment contract and how it read. But I would hope that a manager and company would want to have a reputation of being fair and thinking about the employee as a whole, just not what they can provide for the company. This is where “Ethics in Action” would come in to play as Johnson & Johnson had implemented. An organization’s code of ethics comes in to play when ethical questions arise, like having employees work longer hours. Managers need to stress the importance of ethical values and norms. These values and norms help members resist self-interested actions. It also helps with recognizing that all employees are part of something bigger than themselves (George & Jones, 2011). So what are the ethical implications of requiring that employees dedicate long hours and extensive travel time to their careers and what obligations, if any, does a manager or employer have to enable employees to create a balanced professional and private life? These two questions can only be answered by each individual, there are no set rules or guidelines for these questions. As you can see having workers work longer hours and knowing what a company’s obligation might be presents many different questions that only each company and manager can answer using their own ethical values and norms. References
Derek R Avery, Scott Tonidandel, Sabrina D Volpone, & Aditi Raghuram. (2010). Overworked in America :How work hours, immigrant status, and interpersonal justice affect perceived work overload. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25(2), 133-147. Retrieved January 16, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1956398211).
Jones, G., & George, J. (2011). Essentials of contemporary management (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin. ISBN: 9780078137228