Business ethics is designated as the behavior that an organization or business encompasses in its daily routine undertakings with the “world”. The ethics of a specific organization can be varied. Business ethics not only apply on how organization interacts with the general world, but also its relations with its own employees.
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Many organizations have gained a negative reputation by being in business due to unethical business practices. To many people, organizations are in business with an aim of making money, thus, creating money, is not immoral in it-self. The manner in which some organizations conduct themselves warrantees the issue of ethical conduct. Good organization ethics should be a feature of every organization.
This paper discusses business ethics that modern organization encounters. The paper points out that most organizations have deviated from ethics which streamline effective management in areas such as; employee’s recruitment and selection, performance appraisal schemes, training and development, culture and employee discipline. Lack of an effective mechanism to synchronize ethics in these areas has caused many organizations to tarnish their reputation with the “outside world”.
Employee Recruitment and Selection
Organization embracing ethical practices in recruitment and selection strategies contribute positively towards its success (Burack, 74). This is important because effective applications of ethics in strategies aid in choosing the ideal candidate for a given post in the company.
However, in most organizations, ethics is often sidestepped contributing to enormous challenges in the organizations recruitment and selection process. In some occasions, formal recruitment is overlooked, hence; some organizations adopt conventional form of recruitment. For example, some organizations center their recruitment and selection practices tied to social, political and status linkage.
This indicates that the manifestation of resilient collectivism within work values that emphasizes on hereditary and joint deliberations over realizing higher work efficiency exists (McShane and Glinow, 87). Hiring using referrals is unethical because it denies other favorable candidates which, otherwise, would have been noted through formal recruitment strategies. Besides, this kind of strategy is seen as a policy encouraging bias in the recruitment and selection process (Burack, 74).
Additionally, some organizations tend to ignore the Equal Employment Opportunity Law in recruitment strategies and selections. Equal Employment Opportunity law (EEO) gives guidelines for coming up with systems that are in line with legal needs (Sharma, 56).
This implies that an organization has to admit equal nationality, race and gender policies in its management approach. In considering equal employment for all, it is important to be free of looking into race, nationality, sex, religion or color and instead apply the standard of nondiscrimination.
Some organizations embrace discrimination of pregnant women, treating them unfavorably among other applicants or employees either because of pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions that may arise after childbirth. Thus, this unethical practice is unethical.
Organizations should observe that discrimination on any aspect of employment, dismissal, assignments, salary, promotions or fringe which may include leave and health insurance is unethical and can slow the development and growth of the organization (Sharma, 89).
Consequently, some organizations have unequal pay systems of wages formen and women performing similar duties and responsibilities, having equal skills and having a job that calls for equal effort and responsibility. Unequal reward system is unethical. It is worth noting that sometimes men and women differ in terms of how they work but, this should not in any way form a basis for discrimination (Hendry, 78).
Besides gender discrimination, Age also contributes to discrimination in major organization. Most organizations take advantage of age to determine employment, pay, dismissals, and fringe benefits. This shouldn’t be the case. Organizations should determine the aforementioned practices in tandem with an employee experience, qualifications and the law.
Performance Appraisal Schemes
Performance appraisals are also another management area where organizations fail to recognize its importance for an organization growth and development. Performance appraisal is a process of evaluating employees output based on time, quality, and cost. Performance appraisal is considered to be critical in managing career development of employees.
This process primarily seeks to collect information about the value that an employee has to the organization (Burack, 87). The aims of performance appraisal vary from organization to origination but generally its purpose is to at better the performance of employees through giving feedback obtained from analyzing the employee’s behavior (Bell, et al, 39).
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Existing legislation is one of the key reasons and it needs performance appraisal processes to be nondiscriminatory. But, some organizations have polluted the scheme with unethical practices. Thus, performance appraisal systems have been converted and based on discrimination on grounds of race, gender and religion.
When organizations, are evaluating organizations employees, consistency in objective should prevail (Sharma, 123). This implies that, employee misbehavior should be treated the same way, but some organizations have employed biases in the process.
Training and Development
Present organizations functions in strict competitive environment. Thus, training has become part and parcel of every organization which ought to remain relevant in modern business (McShane and Glinow, 99).
Training has a primary purpose of sustaining and improving job performance by providing skills and knowledge on how a given task has to be handled presently and in the future.
In some organizations, the investment on the employee’s growth and development is viewed under varying unethical approach (Hendry, 87).
One of the Perspectives is that it drains organizations resources and is expensive. Secondly, training is seen as a need based approach. Organizations should deviate from this unethical thinking. They should see training as a capacity building and supporting an organization to gain more on investment and it strengthens an employee loyalty and commitment towards achieving the organizations goals.
Culture and Organizations
Organization culture is important for an organization growth and development besides streamlining management issues. Where, distinct cultures exist, organization has to adapt to work force diversity. However, some organizations deviate from work culture that harmonizes the organization. Some organizations have developed a management style which encourages unethical profiling of employees based on ethnicity, gender among other factors (McShane and Glinow, 65).
This unethical practice has resulted in higher turnover rates and decreased productivity. Organizations management has to devise strategies which involve equality and organization participation regardless of bias. This will create greater efficiency and employee retention. Hence, failing to mitigate this behavior can automatically grant discrimination, difficulties in communications, higher turnover rates and interpersonal conflicts among the employees.
When workforce diversity is comprehensively managed, it results to quick solutions to work-related problems, increment in the innovative and creative mechanisms among employees (Sharma, 125). In addition, individuals from diverse cultural boundaries will be able to articulate their opinions thus, connecting the overall organizational efficiency levels.
Moreover, An organizational culture tend to change overtime with changes brought about by work-related factors such as; change in the economic, social, political and technological factors.
With these factors ever-fluctuating, some organization employs unethical practices such as; if the organization was participating in corporate governance, it ceases or contributes minimally, unfair business practices such as corruptions to gain advantage over the rivals among other unethical business behaviors (Bell, et al, 57). A clear organizational culture anchored on organizations goals; vision will place the organization in a better position to be successful in managerial operations.
Discipline is also another area where management issues have arisen. Disciplining employees is a major management role; hence it is necessary for growth and success of any organization (McShane and Glinow, 104). Disciplining an employee guarantees productivity and increases better ethical adherence for an organization. However, most organizations do not take this responsibility more urgently and with a strict approach.
Some organizations have experienced unethical issues such as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has been predominant on female employees. This has been practiced through a request for sexual favors, unwarranted sexual advances or through physical and verbal depicting sexual nature (Hendry, 102). This behavior is unethical and illegal. Thus, when such issues arise, discipline should be prompt, to inhibit the immoral. Besides, organizations should embrace a consistent disciplinary approach for all employees.
Business ethics is imperative enhancing competitive advantage in contemporary organization. Thus, it is important for an organization to point out some undesirable unethical practices which can prove costly for an organization in the long run.
Organization can identify unethical practices in its employee recruitment and selection process, performance schemes, training and development, culture and employee discipline among other areas. By having a comprehensive management strategy in these areas, an organization can be sure of good reputation and standing, hence encouraging its growth and development.
Bell, Arthur H. Smith, Dayle M and Taylor Maureen. Why Should I?: Ten Keys to Motivating People, California, Lexingford publishing, 2010
Burack, EH. (1986). Corporate, Business, and Human Resource Planning Practices:
Strategic Issues and Concerns. Organizational Dynamics, (15), pp. 73-87
Hendry, Chris. Human Resource Management: a Strategic Approach to Employment. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1995
McShane, Steven, Glinow, Mary Von, Organizational Behavior, New York: McGraw- Hill Higher Education, 2009
Sharma, SK. Human Resource Management: A Strategic Approach to Employment. New Delhi: Global India Publications, 2009