UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA
ENUGU CAMPUS
FACULTY OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT
Paper presentation
TOPIC:
M...
ABSTRACT
Managing Ethics in the work place holds tremendous benefits for everyone, both moral and
practical. This is parti...
INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Ethics has been and continues to be part of human existence. Fredrick et. al.,
(1998)...
c. What are the benefits of managing ethics in the work place and its effect on
productivity?
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE OF THE STU...
work place on productivity and finally guidelines for managing work ethics.
Meaning and definitions of ethics
The Longman ...
Ethics and moral obligation are something that we all encounter at one time or
another. Even in a professional setting, al...
company resources. You can also win the admiration of your coworkers when you
deal with an ethical issue promptly and fair...
New sources of finance - e.g. from ethical investors
The disadvantages claimed for ethical business include:
Higher costs ...
- How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the
fence?
- What is your intention in making these d...
13. Don't overstep the bounds of what outsiders will tolerate while balancing
company's & outsider's interest
14. Consider...
2. The bottom line of an ethics program is accomplishing preferred behaviors
in the workplace.
As with any management prac...
This may sound rather religious or preachy to some, but it's probably the most
important component of any management pract...
different people in the organization. However, the following functions points out
responsibilities that should be included...
C. The organizations goal and employee goals are often in conflict, hence unethical
business decisions.
D. The external en...
Gellerman, S.W. (1986). Why good managers make bad ethical choices. Harvard
Business Review. 1 -7.
Nash, L.L. (1981). Ethi...
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  1. 1. UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA ENUGU CAMPUS FACULTY OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT Paper presentation TOPIC: MANAGING ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE AND ITS EFFECTS ON PRODUCTIVITY COURSE CODE: MAN 830 COURSE TITLE: ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR BY ONUIGWE CHINYERE MARY AN PG/M.Sc/12/62153 BELLO ADAMU DAMBATTA PG/M.Sc/Ph.D/12/61672 ENEH OBIANUJU OKONKWO PG/M.Sc/12/63335 TIMOTHY ESOM PG/M.Sc/Ph.D/12/63272 LECTURER: PROF. JONNY ELUKA JULY, 2013 1
  2. 2. ABSTRACT Managing Ethics in the work place holds tremendous benefits for everyone, both moral and practical. This is particularly true today when it is critical to understand and manage highly diverse values in the work place. Business Ethics in the work place is about prioritizing moral values for the workplace and ensuring behaviors are aligned with those values. Whether or not an individual will be fair in his dealings with others, is determined by his ethical standards. Accepting gratification to approve the purchase of substandard materials for the organization, the appropriation of public property to private uses, conversion of employee benefits for other unapproved purposes, the bribing of government agencies to secure favourable contracts for ones own organization- all these are clear proofs of a warped sense of values and faulty ethical standards. Even when the organization stands to reap benefits by unethical conduct, the immorality in the conduct is by no means diminished. The paper aims to find out the value of ethics and how un ethical behavior led to negative productivity. Good ethics may be quite costly in the short run but in the long run it is of great benefit to all concerned. The study also identified the fierce competitions in business and struggle for survival as the major cause of unethical business behavior, also organizations goal and employee goals are often in conflict, hence unethical business decisions. Key wards; ethics, behavior, Performance, standard 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Ethics has been and continues to be part of human existence. Fredrick et. al., (1998) call it a universal trait. Ethics involves learning what is right or wrong and then doing the right thing. Ethics concerns the obligations we owe people around us for their healthy existence. Being ethical therefore makes us realize that Whatever we do must not harm or inconvenience the lives of those around us. As business became more complicated and dynamic, Organizations realized that they need to manage a more positive image to the public and also needed more guidance to ensure their dealings supported the common good and did not harm others, hence business ethics came to be. Business faces a lot of dimension in its social environment; these dimensions are made up of regulatory requirements, knowledge and information, technological innovations, social values and ethical guides, political forces and events, as well as international forces and events (Frederick et. al, 1988). Business Organizations must therefore, consider its involvement and relationships within its environment to ensure compliance and observance of all rules emaciating from them all. The businesses owe it as duty to defend the interest of all its "publics" both internal and external.The effective management of ethics is sound business practice. Employee's Morale is raised, bottom line performance is improved, your corporate image is enhanced and customers choose to form business relationships with companies that adhere to high ethical standard of ethical conduct. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM a. What are the ethical issues in the work place? b. To what extent can these ethical issues be managed? 3
  4. 4. c. What are the benefits of managing ethics in the work place and its effect on productivity? PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY 1. To determine the various ethical issues in the workplace. 2. To determine how the ethical issues can be managed. 3. To assess the effects of managing ethics in the workplace on productivity. 4. To highlight some of the negative effects of not managing ethics in the workplace. 5. To, on the basis of study findings, suggest guidelines for managing ethics in the workplace. RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. How do organizations manage ethical issues in the workplace? 2. How effective are these guidelines in improving productivity? 3. In what ways (if any) do ethical issues affect productivity in work place? SCOPE OF THE STUDY The study tries to look at the effect of productivity in the work place as it relates ethical and un ethics behavior. METHODOLOGY This paper is a conceptual research work based on literature review. It is based on a mono-method qualitative approach which uses secondary sources of data collection. Secondary data were collected and recorded by a third party researcher for purpose other than contemporary needs of the researcher. REVIEW OF LITERATURE We shall review relevant literature concerning the concept of managing ethical issues in the workplace. Thus, doing this we start by examining the meaning and definitions of ethics followed by mentioning some ethical issues in the workplace, how to manage ethical issues in the workplace, effects of managing ethics in the 4
  5. 5. work place on productivity and finally guidelines for managing work ethics. Meaning and definitions of ethics The Longman Dictionary of contemporary English defines Ethics as moral values or Principles of behavior for deciding what is right or wrong. Ethics is the study of moral principles or values that determine whether actions are right or wrong and outcomes are good or bad (Mcshane and Glinow, 2000) There are 3 key elements involved in ethics: 1. Questions requiring reflective choice- that is decision problems 2. Guides of rights and wrong- that is, moral principles 3. Consequences of our decisions- that is, the good or bad that flows out of our choices. What is Business Ethics? The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally it's coming to know what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what's right — this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders. (Wallace and Pekel 2001) explain that attention to business ethics is critical during times of fundamental change ~ times much like those faced now by businesses, both profit and nonprofit making. In times of fundamental change, values that were previously taken for granted are now strongly questioned. Many of these values are no longer followed. Consequently, there is no clear moral compass to guide leaders through complex dilemmas about what is right or wrong. Attention to ethics in the workplace sensitizes managers and staff to how they should act. Perhaps most important, attention to ethics in the workplaces helps ensure that when leaders and managers are struggling in times of crises and confusion, they retain a strong moral compass. Current Ethical Issue in Business 5
  6. 6. Ethics and moral obligation are something that we all encounter at one time or another. Even in a professional setting, all persons should act in a manner that would uphold the good of society. Why is it that good, ethical and moral behavior is not always adhered to? Is it because some people do not understand ethics and what it means to be ethical? To be ethical, one has to decide between right and wrong, determine what is for the betterment of society and act accordingly. Ethics have three basic criteria that must be met - obligations, moral ideas, and consequences (Ruggiero, 2004). Businesses have their own code of ethics and the individuals within that business have to determine whether or not they will follow that code of ethics. Ethical behavior in business is consistent with the principles, norms, and standards of business practice that have been agreed upon by society (Trevino & Nelson, 2004). At times, however, an individual decides to go against the code of ethical behavior for personal gain. One of the most important responsibilities that we place on the leaders of organizations is upholding the highest standards of ethical behavior. In a nutshell, this comes down to doing the right thing even when the wrong thing might also have some attraction. Work-place ethics are most often related to decision-making processes. Most leaders face the opportunity to choose between alternative courses of action in their work situations and other aspects of their lives. Work-place ethics refer to choosing the option that is determined to be the moral or legal "right" choice, even if the other alterative(s) are very attractive and even if you can "get away with" the less ethical choice. How to Handle the Ethical Issues in the Workplace It's a good idea to prepare to handle ethical issues before they escalate into crises because when they come up you usually do not have a lot of time to act. Ethical issues come up with regard to finances, employee relations, discrimination, religious bias and considerations about whom to promote and how to best allocate 6
  7. 7. company resources. You can also win the admiration of your coworkers when you deal with an ethical issue promptly and fairly. 1. Educate yourself on general principles of ethics. When it comes to handling ethical issues in the workplace, the field is wide and vast. Each discipline usually has ethical dilemmas that come up again and again, and most come with regard to purchasing, hiring, firing, promoting and awarding bonuses. It might not be possible to prepare for every single incident that may arise; however, it is possible to be aware of situations that can come up and general methods of addressing ethical dilemmas. 2. Take classes at a local or online university. Many universities offer ethics classes through their business schools. You can arrange to take one or two of these courses. If classes are not possible, then you can go to a local library and find books on ethics in business or your particular field to read. 3. Define both personal and business values. Before beginning work, sit down and write out what your business' values are. Then write your own personal values and see where the two do or don't meet. Once you have clarified those values for yourself, it will be easier to execute them constantly even in the more pressured environment of a workplace. 4. Role play to effectively prepare for ethical issues in the workplace, imagine various scenarios that might arise and what your response to them would be. This exercise will help you to understand and work through your feelings when ethical dilemmas arise. It will also help you to determine your personal values and make it easier for you to handle certain ethical situation The advantages of ethical behavior include: • Higher revenues - demand from positive consumer support • Improved brand and business awareness and recognition • Better employee motivation and recruitment 7
  8. 8. New sources of finance - e.g. from ethical investors The disadvantages claimed for ethical business include: Higher costs - e.g. sourcing from Fair-trade suppliers rather than lowest price Higher overheads - e.g. training & communication of ethical policy A danger of building up false expectations. Businesses and industries are increasingly finding themselves facing external pressure to improve their ethical track record. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO EXERCISE WORK-PLACE ETHICS? Leaders are often put in decisions where they must choose among options that vary in their degree of ethical behavior. One of the reasons why this is a common issue for leaders is that there are often competing priorities for businesses. On one hand, organizations exist to generate profits for their shareholders, which may encourage leaders to act in ways that are less ethical in order to cut costs or increase revenues. On the other hand, organizations are made up of human beings who have personally invested in the company and often live in the communities in which they work. If the individuals are harmed by decisions that maximize company profitability, then the decision is not an ethical one. Only one stakeholder is getting their needs met, at the expense of other stakeholders. According to one theory, leaders may make bad ethical decisions and rationalize these decisions2 : For example, a leader may tell themselves it is not really illegal or immoral, or perhaps that it will never be found out or that their bad behavior will be rewarded. HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY DECISIONS ARE ETHICAL? If you are worried about how a decision will impact others or how others will perceive your decision, then chances in ethics are of consideration. You might start by asking yourself some questions: 8
  9. 9. - How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the fence? - What is your intention in making these decisions? - Whom could your decision or action injure? - Are you confident that your position will be as valid a long period of time as it seems now? - Could you disclose without qualm your decision or action to your boss, you CEO, the board of directors, your family, society as a whole? SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES TO HELP YOU MAKE ETHICAL DECISIONS A key reason why decisions that have ethical implications may be difficult for leaders to make is that they may be encountering situations that they have never had to deal with before. This lack of experience may be characterized by a great deal of ambiguity in terms of what to do. Some basic principles may be useful in helping to guide the ethical decision-making process: 1. Don't allow personal gains to outweigh the good of the organization 2. Recognize all perspectives when making an ethical decision 3. Respect people and their rights 4. Keep promises and honor contracts 5. Use feelings to help decide morale dilemmas 6. Get all the facts 7. Treat all people fairly 8. Define who you are, your company & personal values 9. Always challenge your decision to be in line with your values, beliefs and morals 10. Never compromise your integrity 11. Ethical decisions must use fair procedures and account for unjust action 12. Don't choose the easiest answer; consider all the options (don't just go for a quick fix) 9
  10. 10. 13. Don't overstep the bounds of what outsiders will tolerate while balancing company's & outsider's interest 14. Consider the risk of setting & trying to achieve overly ambitious goals 15. Communicate that all employees have a responsibility to keep the company's moral & ethical standards in check 16. When in doubt, don't 17. Instill proper checks & balances of ethical behavior that don't create bottlenecks 18. When possible seek the input of effected individuals at a moral crossroads Guidelines for Managing Ethics in the Workplace 1. Recognize that managing ethics is a process. Ethics is a matter of values and associated behaviors. Values are discerned through the process of ongoing reflection. Therefore, ethics programs may seem more process-oriented than most management practices. Managers tend to be skeptical of process-oriented activities, and instead prefer processes focused on deliverables with measurements. However, experienced managers realize that the deliverables of standard management practices (planning, organizing, motivating, controlling) are only tangible representations of very process-oriented practices. For example, the process of strategic planning is much more important than the plan produced by the process. The same is true for ethics management. Ethics programs do produce deliverables, e.g., codes, policies and procedures, budget items, meeting minutes, authorization forms, newsletters, etc. However, the most important aspect from an ethics management program is the process of reflection and dialogue that produces these deliverables. 10
  11. 11. 2. The bottom line of an ethics program is accomplishing preferred behaviors in the workplace. As with any management practice, the most important outcome is behaviors preferred by the organization. The best of ethical values and intentions are relatively meaningless unless they generate fair and just behaviors in the workplace. That's why practices that generate lists of ethical values, or codes of ethics, must also generate policies, procedures and training that translate those values to appropriate behaviors. 3. The best way to handle ethical dilemmas is to avoid their occurrence in the first place. 4. Make ethical decisions in groups, and make decisions public, as appropriate. This usually produces better quality decisions by including diverse interests and Perspectives and increases the credibility of the decision process and outcome by reducing suspicion of unfair bias. 5. Integrate ethics management with other management practices. When developing the values statement during strategic planning, include ethical values preferred in the workplace. When developing personnel policies, reflect on what Ethical values you'd like to be most prominent in the organization's culture and then design policies to produce these behaviors. 6. Use cross-functional teams when developing and implementing the ethics management program. It's vital that the organization's employees feel a sense of participation and ownership in the program if they are to adhere to its ethical values. Therefore, include employees in developing and operating the program. 7. Value forgiveness. 11
  12. 12. This may sound rather religious or preachy to some, but it's probably the most important component of any management practice. An ethics management program may at first actually increase the number of ethical issues to deal with because people are more sensitive to their occurrence. Consequently, there may be more occasions to address people's unethical behavior. The most important ingredient for remaining ethical is trying to be ethical. Therefore, help people recognize and address their mistakes and then support them to continue to try operate ethically. 8. Note that trying to operate ethically and making a few mistakes is better than not trying at all. Some organizations have become widely known as operating in a highly ethical manner, e.g., Ben and Jerrys, Johnson and Johnson, Aveda, Hewlett Packard, etc. Unfortunately, it seems that when an organization achieves this strong public image, it's placed on a pedestal by some business ethics writers. All organizations are comprised of people and people are not perfect. However, when a mistake is made by any of these organizations, the organization has a long way to fall. In our increasingly critical society, these organizations are accused of being hypocritical and they are soon pilloried by social critics. Consequently, some leaders may fear sticking their necks out publicly to announce an ethics management program. This is extremely unfortunate. It's the trying that Counts and brings peace of mind — not achieving a heroic status in society. Key Roles and Responsibilities in Ethics Management Depending on the size of the organization, certain roles may prove useful in managing ethics in the workplace. These can be full-time roles or part-time functions assumed by someone already IN the organization. Small organizations certainly will not have the resources to implement each the following roles using 12
  13. 13. different people in the organization. However, the following functions points out responsibilities that should be included somewhere in the organization. 1. The organization's chief executive must fully support the program. If the chief executive isn't fully behind the program, employees will certainly notice and this apparent hypocrisy may cause such cynicism that the organization may be worse off than having no formal ethics program at all. Therefore, the chief executive should announce the program, and champion its development and implementation. Most important, the chief executive should consistently aspire to lead in an ethical manner. If a mistake is made, admit it. 2. Consider establishing an ethics committee at the board level. The committee would be charged to oversee development and operation of the ethics management program. 3. Consider establishing an ethics management committee Would be charge with implementing and administrating an ethics management program, including administrating and training about policies and procedures, and resolving ethical dilemmas. The committee should be comprised of senior officers. • 4. Consider assigning/developing an ethics officer. This role is becoming more common, particularly in larger and more progressive organizations. The ethics officer is usually trained about matters of ethics in the workplace, particularly about resolving ethical dilemmas. 5. Consider establishing an ombudsperson. The ombudsperson is responsible to help coordinate development of the policies and procedures to institutionalize moral values in the workplace. This position usually is directly responsible for resolving ethical dilemmas by interpreting policies and procedures. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Our findings as follows: A. This study has identified that there are some vital ethical issues in the workplace. • B. The study also identified the fierce competitions in business and struggle for survival as the major cause of unethical business behavior. 13
  14. 14. C. The organizations goal and employee goals are often in conflict, hence unethical business decisions. D. The external environment, as well as the internal environment of business, contributes immensely to the mismanagement of ethics in the workplace. E. It is revelation of this study that ethical issues should be managed in the workplace to improve performance. This goes to suggest that the management of ethics in the workplace enhances productivity. Recommendations Some recommendations were proffered based on the above findings: 1. It should not be forgotten that business exists to serve the public 2. Management should introduce ethical programs for both managers and staff 3. Organizational goals and individual goals should be in harmony. CONCLUSION We cannot rule out the fact that ethical issues exists in the workplace and should be managed effectively so as to enhance productivity. This study is not claiming to have the final solution to the problem of the study. It only identified its existence and magnitude. It is expected that further study be made on how best to manage ethical issues that arises in the workplace. References 14
  15. 15. Gellerman, S.W. (1986). Why good managers make bad ethical choices. Harvard Business Review. 1 -7. Nash, L.L. (1981). Ethics without the sermon. Harvard Business Review. 79-89. Nnabuife and Ikon (2008): Business Ethics. El* Demak Publishers Enugu Sberwin, D.S. (1983). The ethical roots of the business system. Harvard Business Review. 1-9. Osisioma and Osisioma (2002): Management Practice, J.B.H Publishers Enugu 15

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