The organizational role of management involves carrying all or part of the five managerial functions spelt out by Henry Fayol (1926) as planning, directing, organizing, coordinating and controlling (Edward & Martins, 2003). Modern management theorists like Elton Mayo and Abraham Maslow further brought to light other non-compensation stimuli affecting the productivity of employees. These stimuli include the ethical and moral issues. Gerald Holton (2004) explains that people compare themselves and are influenced by what controls them. It is therefore key noting that managers have to be what they expect their employees to be. This makes employee own and feel part of the organization rather than at the periphery, in the end improving the productivity of the organization.
In their duties, managers face a proliferation of moral and ethical issues in the process carrying out their daily chores. In today’s society, it is the duty of the management group to make important decisions for the welfare and success of the organization thereby posing them to many challenges in their delivery of services (Edward & Martins, 2003). Managers’ tasks involve a number of activities ranging from ensuring employees are performing as required, they are timely and their requirement are met to ensure employees are pursuing organizational strategy and policies and that hopes and objectives are concise and clear.
Because the major role of a manager is supervisory, he or she has to act as role model such that his or her employees will admire their character or imitate them; this makes them an important asset in any organization. This entirely means leading by example where manager are supposed to show what is supposed to be done rather than saying it. Managers can speak or teach on good morals and ethics, but unless they practice what they teach or say, it will not bear any fruits because their employee will not pay any attention. A role model has to possess certain status in the society or field they are in, not because they desire to be, but they have to. For example, principals are role models to teachers, teachers are role model to the students, and managers are role models to their assistants (Edward & Martins, 2003).
Most of the managerial activities involve interaction with employee and other manager as well as passing information concerning the operations of the organization. They also act as the link between the directors and employee, and this make them face many challenges, which affect the decision they make thereby making it difficult for them to play the part of the role model because of the different moral and ethical challenges.
Ethics deal with human action, it is considered in philosophical explanation as morality, moral problems, and moral judgment. Ethics can also refer to the study of what is good or right for individual person or to what we are doing (Ken, 2012). Ethical philosophy can be divided into virtues that benefit a person or persons` society, ethics that are central to morality, and utilitarianism, which rotates in managerial tasks in the modern society. Ethically responsible practice by a manager is that which takes into consideration the social issues in human relations. Even though the managers’ decisions cannot be 100% correct or accepted by all, employees should be satisfied that the measures taken by the managers are ethically conscious. Ethical issues mainly emerge when moral issues are mixed with personal and social relations creating a system that describes what is right and what is wrong with regard to the organizational culture (George and Lazareth, 2003). All managers in their daily activities deal with different levels of moral and ethical issues, such as dishonesty, excessive consumption, racism, method of punishing wrongdoers, and making sure objectives are met. Other ethical and moral issues affecting managers include racism, tribalism, favoritism, bias, and the list is endless. All these moral and ethical issues arise differently during management practices.
Still under the influence of these issues and the various duties, managers still have the challenge to be role models in the organization (Ken, 2012). He/she represents the face of the organization, and as the saying goes, “fish rots from the head”; the managers’ failure to show the right direction may have a far-reaching influence on the organization. Managers should therefore put emphasis on what they do and not what they say. Employees are less likely to listen to empty talk. This may put much pressure on the management side to make sure they can adhere to the strict measures and policies they put. The management or the administrative group leads the organization to success or failure (Paul, 2002).
There are many dilemmas involving a manager as a role model. A good exemplar is the dilemma, which could arise in the hiring process. A situation could arise where the human resource manager has to choose between a qualified candidate and one with a disability. The particular example is of a job vacancy involving moving merchandise from store to store a few yards away from each other. In the job advertisement, as usual, it is stated that the company is an equal opportunity employer. Note that although the job involves physical movement, that was not covered as a qualification in the advertisement. In the interview, the top best candidates emerged as a physically challenged man in a wheelchair as well as a lady. The physically challenged man happens to have three years’ experience whereas the lady has one-year. The situation also involves intricate legal issues because affirmative action covers both parties, so the manager cannot easily prefer one candidate to the other. The human resource manager is faced with the task to decide the most suitable candidate, still considering morality, ethics, and law. The manager had to consider the nature of the job, making the lady the preferred candidate although the man was more qualified, considering his more years of experience.Such a decision may not sit well with the proponents of ethical and moral behavior, but it is debatable just the same way it is a dilemma.
In many organizations, managers face many challenges in their daily routine as in the case above thereby making it difficult to make the most suitable decision that shows they are ethically responsible managers and are role model (Peterson, 2008). In most cases, management is not considered one-man task because managers have to engage with other managers in different fields before making any decision just as in the case above to make sure everybody contributes to reduce resistance when the decision is made. Although managers try to fit the shoes of being role models and show high level of understanding in most cases, in cases of moral and ethical challenges just as in the example above, consulting with others yield positive outcomes.
The ethical and moral issues may greatly constrain the decision making of managers. Sometimes the decisions fail to become all binding because of the influence of organizational politics cascading from these social issues. The issues resulting from the moral and ethical dilemmas affect their capability to act as role models and thus, hard to emulate. This affects the employees and other individuals in the firm because the dilemmas affect the decision making process.