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The management of businesses and organizations has been refined in the recent past with managers required to follow particular procedures in their endeavor to lead others and to adhere to particular set of rules and regulations, either written or non-written for them to be successful and to take their organization from one level to another. Failure to observe these rules and regulations, and other management issues is a wonderful recipe for failure in any organization. Among the management factors that have to be considered by mangers are ethical issues.
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Ethical issues can be described as the beliefs and assumptions that are held by institutions, organizations and individuals that are aimed at enabling them to put a demarcation between right and wrong in their professions and lives and thus be in a position to make moral judgment concerning issues that emerge on a daily basis in these organizations, institutions and in the professional lives of people (Schatman, 2006, p.243). Simply put, it learning about the rights and the wrongs in a particular business or organizational setup and then choosing to do that which is right. For example, there are different moral and ethical issues that managers face on daily basis. These issues are both internal and external.
One of these issues is discipline. There are various facets of discipline that have to be taken into account when discussing the issue of discipline. To begin with, managers have to devise ways of maintaining discipline within their workplace and among all employees. While the rules and regulations that have been formulated by the company require that both employees and employers adhere to them, this is never the case. One of the issues that have become a common indiscipline at the workplace is sexual harassment (Francis, 2001, p.116). Most managers have to deal with the fact that there are some employees that are unable to control their sexual appetite and therefore keep on harassing other employees sexually. As a result, managers have to ensure that sexual discipline is maintained in the workplace.
Another moral and ethical issue that manager have to deal with is the issue of dismissal. In this particular case too, there are rules and regulations that guide the way a person has to be dismissed from work. Most managers find themselves between a rock and a hard place when they have to deal with the fact that they may not be willing to dismiss one of their workers yet they have to do it to ensure that other employees are able to maintain high standards of discipline. On the other hand, unfair dismissal must be avoided at all costs.
There is also the issue of social relationship at the workplace. While one may have been elevated to the position of a manager, he is not an island. He needs to interact with other people in the business or organization and some of these interactions will involve junior employees. However, the challenge with such kind of relationship is where to put the demarcation and make it clear that certain boundaries will not be violated. For example, the issue of friends and time-keeping on work should be highly maintained in order to ensure that work is run as usual without any interference, especially when one fails to perform his duties because he is a friend to the manager. On the other hand, personal management that is guided by moral and ethical standards must be upheld. What a manager can or cannot do in order to serve as an excellent example to employees should be highly emphasized (Williams & Anderson, 2005).
Discipline from both sides, i.e. from that of the manager and employees therefore play a key role in all these issues. While there is room for employees and employers to interact socially, there is a moral responsibility that each one of them is required to exercise in order to keep moral and ethical standards very high. For example, as a manager, one is not supposed to indulge in haphazard sexual relations with his juniors employees. While people cannot be restricted when it comes to social interaction, one must be disciplined enough to draw a boundary on how far social relationships can go and especially at the workplace.
On the other hand, discipline is required if one is to be able to control the activities of a business or organization in an effective way. When considering the fact that there are those employees that are highly favored by the management of these businesses and organization, yet this favoritism that may have stemmed out of social circles should not be left unchecked while on the workplace. For example, a compromise in certain standards or an application of double standards in an organization should not be used when dealing with various employees in a business or organization. Instead, every employee should be put on discipline standards that dictate that all employees are equal before managers and some cannot therefore be treated with favor than others; with discipline dictating that it is only the adherence to rules and regulations that can be able to move a business or organization a notch higher (Schatman, 2006).
An example of an ethical dilemma that can be cited to illustrate the issue of discipline as an ethical issue in management is a case whereby one of the managers together with Human Resource Manager of Chaco Limited was enticed by the benefits they were promised to receive if they provided personal information regarding their employee earnings that was to be used in a Consumer and Earnings Survey that was being carried out by a research company that was run by their friends. Therefore, these managers gave out information about their employees without their consent. However, a wife of one of the employees who worked with the research company found the information belonging to her husband and was astonished. On asking whether her husband had given out this information, he denied it. Further investigation led to the source of this information. Therefore, for lack of discipline that would allow these managers to guard the information of their employees, these managers put their company at a risk of being prosecuted.
There are various legal issues that the management faced during this dilemma. To begin with, the whole company was at the risk of being prosecuted for being unable to protect the information of their employees thus violating their privacy (Williams & Anderson, 2005, p.111). It is important for managers to understand that the privacy of both their employees and their clients is of utmost importance to the company and should be guarded from any malicious use. Similarly, this company faced prosecution since it agreed to participate in unlawful practices that allowed it not only to promote illegal activities but also to endanger personal information of their employees.
There are several legalities that should have governed the decision of these managers before allowing their company to be involved. First, it is important to understand that as a company, they had no obligation to provide personal information of their employees to other entities for studies and research of whatever sort. To show respect to other people’s privacy, ethical discipline requires that the owners of this information should be contacted and asked for permission before their information is given out. Similarly, it should be stated clearly the kind of information that was to be given out.
Discipline therefore is one of the key subjects that must always be put into consideration when discussing the moral and ethical issues in businesses and organization. This is as a result of it role in providing guidance to the behaviors of employees and managers, not only within organizations but with the outside world such as other companies and organization. With this in mind, companies and organization can be able to avoid negative issues that emerge as a result of discipline failure in these businesses and organizations.