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In 1992 Badaracco discussed four aspects of ethics for those in the workplace: that is personal ethics; ethics as economic agents ; ethics as leaders and ethical commitment to wider society. More recently McDonald…
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SALEH ALOTHMAN Week 2: CAL Report Word Count: 694 (excluding reference list) This week our topic has been workplace morality and ethics. In 1992 Badaracco discussed four aspects of ethics for those in the workplace: that is personal ethics; ethics as economic agents ; ethics as leaders and ethical commitment to wider society. More recently McDonald (2010) described how a person’s culture and context affected their attitudes to such things as ethics and morality. If that is so it also means differences in culture will mean differences in the ethical codes followed. To take one example ethical concepts in Kuwait may well be different from ideas on the topic held within the United Kingdom.
The practice of ethics will also depends on which of Badaracco’s (1992) four spheres of ethics has prominence. If top management and the stakeholders/shareholders are our priority then decisions taken may be misunderstood by workers in a company, who feel that they deserve some consideration too. Mistrust and dislike creeps in. This in turn has a negative impact upon motivation and performance on the shop floor. Cunliffe (2004) states that managers need to learn how to practice ethics and morality, and when necessary make required changes in both their attitudes and practices.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) was discussed and linked with the goal of both retaining employees and increasing motivation and engagement. According to various studies (Ali and Ali, 2011; Gross and Holland, 2011; Brammer, Millington and Rayton, 2007) it seems that workers prefer to be employed by a company which is socially committed. Socially commitment is also perceived positively by the wider community (Tang, 2007; Mohr, Webb and Harris, 2001; Moir, 2001). Kenexa (2010) having studied and considered the situation in six different countries, showed strong evidence of links between corporate social responsibility and higher levels of employee engagement.
At present our organization is in the early stages of CSR, which means that as yet there is only a limited level of employee participation. The process of making the employees understand the ways in which they will benefit from CSR, and how is going to benefit them their levels of motivation levels will be increased. As the level of our CSR increases so their participation levels should also increase. At the same time it is also necessary that the employees feel that the ethical decisions being made will benefit them within the organization. Ali and Ali (2011) reveal that the importance of organizations having policies of ethical activity towards their employees in connection with CSR.
Jennings (2006) believes that any problems with ethics among leaders of ethics is not primarily due to any lack of knowledge of business, but is caused in the main by a lack of leaders with strong moral characters. They lack real both real understanding of the differences between ethical and non-ethical behaviours, but are also driven by a fear of being seen by bosses to resist what they perceive as wrong as can happen when top management make a decision which is not in the best interests of their employees. Middle management then accept these decisions, being more concerned with of trust. pleasing bosses than with the concerns of employees lower down the company. Gick (2003) believes that because they see these unethical decisions as the norm this in turn has a negative impact upon their own decisions, an attitude of ‘It’s O.K. Everyone does it.’
For these reasons (Beggs and Dean, 2007) it is important that leaders receive training in communications and decision making so that they can better handle their ethical responsibilities and deal ethically with situations as they arise.
(Dang and Mescher (2010) showed how ethics must affect top management and that its various components are very important in their business practices. On the same topic Small (2011) discusses the need for management that is both wise and moral.
Ethical considerations should affect everything we do, whatever the context. That however does not mean that it is necessarily easy to practice ethically or and to make decisions which are fair for everyone. There will be always be situations where managers have problems with their decision making, but it is how they handle these situations in an ethical way which is really important.
Ali, I. & Ali, J. (2011), ‘Corporate social responsibility, corporate reputation and employee engagement,’ MPRA Paper 33891, University Library of Munich, Germany.
Badaracco, J.. (1992) ‘Business ethics: Four spheres of executive responsibility’, California Management Review, 34 (3), pp. 64-79.
Beggs, J. and Dean, K. (2007). ‘Legislated Ethics or Ethics Education? Faculty View in the Post-Enron Era’. Journal of Business Ethics, pp. 15-37
Brammer, S., Millington, A. & Rayton, B. (2007). ‘The contribution of corporate social responsibility to organizational commitment’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, pp. 1701-1719.
Cunliffe A. L. (2004) ‘On Becoming a Critically Reflexive Practitioner’, Journal of Management Education, 2004 (28), pp. 407-426
Dang, M. and Mescher, B. (2010) ‘Directors and the Ethics Components of their Duties’, MqJBL, 7 (2010), pp. 1-14
Gael McDonald, (2010), ‘Ethical relativism vs absolutism: research implications’, European Business Review, 22 (4), pp. 446 – 464
Gick, Evelyn (2003) ‘Cognitive Theory and Moral Behavior: The Contribution of F. A. Hayek to Business Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics, 45: pp. 149–165
Gross, R. and Holland, B. (2011) ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement: Making the Connection’, White Paper, pp. 1-23
Jennings, M. (2006) ‘In Their Own Words: What We learn About Ethical Lapses and Their Prevention from the Hindsight of Those Who Committed’ The Corporate Finance Review, 10 (6), pp. 44-47.
Kenexa (2010) ‘Being Socially Responsible has a Positive Impact on Employees as Well as Their Local Communities and the Environment’, Executive Summary, No. 10, Kenexa Research Institute
McDonald, M., (2010) Ethics, (Online) Available at ( Accessed 11th December 2012)
Mohr L., Webb, D,, Harris, K., (2001). ‘Do consumers expect companies to be socially responsible? The impact of corporate social responsibility on buying behavior’, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 35, pp. 45-72.
Moir, Lance (2001) ‘What do we mean by corporate social responsibility?’, Corporate Governance, 1 (2), pp.16 – 22
Small, Michael W. (2011), ‘Developing wisdom and moral duty in management’, Journal of Management Development, 30 (9) pp. 836 – 846
Tang, W. (2007). ‘Management science and engineering, impact of corporate image and corporate reputation on customer loyalty: A review’. Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures, 1 (2) Read More
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