Summary PaperEdwanna GillespieBUS670Professor Donald BarbeeApril 23, 2012
Have you ever thought about owning your own company? Being your own boss? Well, I’msure the thought has crossed everyone’s mind at some point in their lives. I have to admit thatthe thought has crossed my mind several times, wondering how it would feel to have to answerto myself. How successful my business would be, who I would cater to, and what rules, ethics,and values I would require my employees to have. One must understand that in order for anorganization to be successful, it has to the right ethical structure. I will discuss the howimportant it is to display or teach ethics in an organization, if you want to be successful. There are many known companies that have displayed unethical and socially irresponsiblebehavior. This brings me to a recent situation today, the Secret Service sex scandal. I believethat you cannot believe everything you see on television or you read in the newspaper or online.But, I find this situation to be very sad and quite disturbing. It makes me wonder about theirethical views, values, and the oath they pledge to uphold. Yes, everyone is entitled to have a lifeoutside of work, but their behavior left six Secret Sevices Agents unemployed ant the otherswere placed on administrative leave, with their security clearances revoked. Those Agentsdisplayed unethical behaviors which lead to them being fired. I would say that this displaysunethical behavior and some form of betrayal to your company, country, and President.According to Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, told "Meet ThePress" that "anyone who is found to be guilty" of misconduct ahead of President Obamas trip toColombia last weekend will be fired (Stableford, 2012). I believe that that would be the bestanswer to this situation, because there is no excuse that can justify behavior. I am sure that thisis not the first time that something like this has occurred, but it is the first time that it has madethe news and so many agents’ lives have been ruined behind this incident. What is very that it
was Secret Service agents committing these crimes. We are all human and all fall short, and Ibelieve that this incident proves just that. But, I do believe that there is some form of or breachof duty with this situation. They were there to do a job, and simply forgot about that for a fewmoments, to enjoy their lives. One solution to this problem would be to hire more female agents.According to, Sen. Susan Collins, ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, andRep. Carolyn Maloney of the House Oversight Committee suggested having more female agentscould help avoid such scandals (Stableford, 2012). I have to say that, I do not believe that thiswould be a real good solution to the problem. I believe that, it was just a bad situation that the agents put themselves in and shoulddefinitely be punished for it, but I also feel that they new agents need to know their ethical dutiesand responsibilities. The United States Congress, employees, investors, and other critics of thepower held and abused by some corporations and their management have demanded thatcorporate wrongdoers be punished and that future wrongdoers be deterred. Consequentlyshareholders, creditors, and state and federal attorneys general have brought several civil andcriminal actions against wrongdoing corporations and their executives (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers& Langvardt, 2010, p. 91). Ethical issues are a major concern in organizations for many reasons. In organizations,ethics maintains the unease of corporate social responsibility and the importance of thoseconcerned. There are state, federal, and local laws associated with ethical practices within anorganization. Were as good leaders strive to create a better and more ethical organization fortheir employees. Organizational behavior, commonly referred to as OB, is an interdisciplinaryfield dedicated to better understanding and managing people at work. By definition,organizational behavior is both research and application oriented. Three basic levels of analysis
in OB are individual, group, and organizational (Kinicki, & Kreitner, 2009). Overall, it’simportant to study business ethics to make better decisions and ensure that you will hireemployees that will make the right ethical decisions. Ethical behavior can be influenced by your surroundings. Discussions about ethics inorganizations reflect only the "individualistic approach" to moral responsibility. According tothis approach, every person in an organization is morally responsible for his or her own behavior,and any efforts to change that behavior should focus on the individual. When facing suchdilemmas, the weights we assign to certain values will sometimes lead us to choose thoseorganizational policies or actions that will promote the common good. At other times, our valueswill lead us to choose those policies or actions that will protect the interests and rights of theindividual. Perhaps the greatest challenge in discussions of ethics in organizations is to find ways inwhich organizations can be designed to promote the interests of both (Brown, 2008). Havingself discipline when dealing with ethical behavior is important, to ensure that the rules are beingproperly followed. Instead, it is important for you to recognize that people’s ethical values canbe as diverse as human culture. That is why no amount of argumentation is necessary whenappealing to theories you accept, it is likely to only influence someone who agrees with adifferent ethical viewpoint. This means that if you want to be understood by and to influencesomeone who has a different ethical underpinning than you do, you must first determine hisethical viewpoint and then speak in an ethical language that will be understood and accepted byhim (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010, p. 93).
Understanding ethical theories helps to emphasize unusual aspects of an ethical problem andlead to the most ethically correct resolution. These theories focus on the consequences of adecision that are teleological ethical theories. Other theories focus on the decision or actionitself, irrespective of what results it produces. Theories that focus on decisions or actions aloneare deontological ethical theories (Mallor, Barnes Bowers & Langvardt, 2010, P. 93). There arefour parts to the ethical theories they are right theory, justice theory, utilitarianism, and profitmaximization. Each ethical theory plays an imperative part of the decision-making process.These ethical theories help us to make the right decisions in our lives. A code of ethics is a set of guidelines which are designed to set out acceptable behaviors formembers of a particular group, association, or profession. Many organizations governthemselves with a code of ethics, especially when they handle sensitive issues like investments,health care, or interactions with other cultures. In the business world, many organizations tendto use a code of ethics to ensure that their employees act in a responsible manner. Anorganization with a code of ethics may also be viewed more favorably by members of the public,which means that a code of ethics is a sound business decision (Smith, 2010). It’s essential forbusinesses to adapt a code of ethics to help deal with the employee’s behavior. Many largecorporations and several industries have adopted code of ethics or code of conduct to guideexecutives and other employees. Better corporate ethics codes make clear that the corporationexpects employees not to violate the law in a mistaken belief that loyalty to the corporation orcorporate profitability requires it. These codes work best, when an organization gives itsemployees an outlet for dealing with a superior’s request to do an unethical act (Mallor, Barnes,Bowers & Langvardt, 2010, p. 99). The effectiveness of these codes of ethics depends on the
extent to which management supports them with sanctions and rewards. As long as managersshould clearly explain what is needed and expected by employees to enforce this process. The intent of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is to protect investors by improving the accuracy andreliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws, and for other purposes.The Sarbanes-Oxley Act created new standards for corporate accountability as well as newpenalties for acts of wrongdoing. This changes how corporate boards and executives mustinteract with each other and with corporate auditors. It also removes the defense of , "I wasntaware of financial issues" from CEOs and CFOs, holding them accountable for the accuracy offinancial statements. The Act specifies new financial reporting responsibilities, includingadherence to new internal controls and procedures designed to ensure the validity of theirfinancial records. The US Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in the wake of a myriad of corporate scandals. Whatthese scandals had in common was skewed reporting of selected financial transactions. Forinstance, companies such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco covered up or misrepresented a varietyof questionable transactions, resulting in huge losses to stakeholders, people losing their jobs,homes, and a crisis in investor confidence. Sarbanes-Oxley aims to enhance corporategovernance and strengthen corporate accountability (www.sox-online.com). This law has beenput in place as a means of controlling corporate misdeeds. Lawmakers usually assume thatcorporations and executives are rational actors that can be deterred from unethical and sociallyirresponsible behavior by the threats law presents. Those threats are fines and civil damages,such as those imposed and increased by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. For deterrence to work,however, corporate decisions makers must know when the law’s penalties will be impose, fear
those penalties, and act rationally to avoid them (Mallor, Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010, p.103). Ethical and socially responsibility is the main purpose for encouraging their employees todo better. Avoiding making bad ethical business decisions will help limit the risk of being unethical.There are times when it may be hard to avoid making ethical decisions, but you have to thinkabout how your decisions and actions will not only affect you, but your employer as well.Helping employees to recognize and understand the negative consequences of their behavior isimportant. Managers who motivate with incentives and the power of their vision and passionsucceed only in energizing employees who want to be motivated. A manager cannot motivateintractable employees. Instead of pushing solutions on problem employees, the manager shouldpull solutions out of them by creating circumstances in which the employees can channel theirmotivation toward achievable goals. This makes the employee feel as if they aren’t beingsingled out, but being appreciated. That means addressing any obstacles that might be hinderingthe employees from reaching their potential and helps them to work harder to be moreproductive. This method demands that a manager take charge of a difficult situation and resolveit (Nicholson, 2003). Managers should lead by example, meaning do not do anything that isunethical and expect your team members, to not behave the same way. That is why it isimportant to provide the right training for all new and old employees. Providing ethical training for employees will help limit unethically and socially irresponsiblebehavior. You give the people under your charge tasks to complete, supervise their work, helpthem complete the tasks, and provide motivation and feedback to ensure that the current job willbe done well and that future work will be done better. No one can lead ethically who does not
attempt and mostly succeed in behaving ethically in her business and personal life (Mallor,Barnes, Bowers & Langvardt, 2010, p. 119). Providing feedback is needed to motivate andencourage employees to continuously improve. It’s necessary for mangers to lead by example,that the other employees will know what behavior will be accepted and what will not tolerated.You can’t expect your employee to do something that you aren’t doing yourself, therefore doingthe thing which is right is always the best choice. There may be situations where, the employerhas to do something that maybe unethical to its employees, but if it will help save the company,then there should be an exception. In conclusion what makes an organization successful and keeps clients coming back, isgood ethical standards, as well as goods and services. If one believes that an organization has allthings that they’re looking for, but lacks ethical values, then they will take their businesselsewhere. Learning how to properly run a business/organization ethically is important to thesuccess of the business. Organizations can influence ethical behavior by enforcing continuousprocess improvements and by promoting those employees who display this behavior. TheSarbanes-Oxley Act created new standards for corporate accountability as well as new penaltiesfor acts of wrongdoing. Also that Sarbanes-Oxley Act is to enhance corporate governance andstrengthen corporate accountability. Effective organizational culture deals with the issues ofethical behavior and by providing ethical training to employees is beneficial to maintain thisvariety of behavior measures. Ethics is a very important part of our everyday lives and helps usto make decisions that will not just affect our lives, but others around us as well. Providingethical training for employees will help limit unethically and socially irresponsible behavior andhelp them to make effective decisions. When, I think about the Secret Service sex scandal, I haveto ask the question, of “Where are your ethical standards?” I also understand that everyone is
entitled to live how they chose outside of work, but something’s are just commonsense. I believethat the actions that are being taken against these agents, are appropriate and to let others knowthat this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Bringing in more female agents canmake things better, to some point, but can also make the situation worse. When in cases like theSecret Service sex scandal, I believe that the agents have to think about what is most importantand always keep the ethical prospective in mind. What would be the ethical thing to do in anysituation and how it will not only affect you, but the people in your life as well. There is anethical standard that all employees are to up hold. Once, they deter from that, then that is whenall the problems come in things begin to go wrong. Overall, it is important to have ethics in yourorganizations in order to be successful and keep loyal clients and new clients. Ethics help us tomake sound decisions in our lives that will not only affect us, but those around us as well.
ReferencesBrown, M. (2008) Ethics in Organizations Saint Clara University. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v2n1/Kinicki, A. & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational key concepts, skills & best practices (4th Ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Mallor, J.P., Barnes, A.J., Bowers, T., & Langvardt, A.W. (2010). Business Law: The Ethical, global, and ecommerce environment (14th Ed.). New York: Irwin/McGraw Hill.Nicholson, N. (2003, January). How to motivate your problem people. Harvard Business Review, 81(1), 56-65. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 272453461).Sarbanes-Oxley Essential Information. (2003-2006). The Vendor-Neutral Sarbanes-Oxley Site. Retrieved April 23, 2012 from http://www.sox-online.com/basics.htmlSmith, SE. (2010). What is a Code of Ethics. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-code-of-ethics.htmStableford, D. (2012, April). Secret Service sex scandal: Congressional members call for wider probe, more female agents. ABC OTUS News. Retrieved April 23, 2012, from http://news.yahoo.com/secret-sex-scandal-congressional-members-call-wider-probe- 003639735.html