In their article, “Ethical Implications of the Mediatization of Organizations,” Litschka and Karmasin (2012) address the topic of mediatization from the perspective of business ethics, arguing for new and improved methods of communication between organizations and the media. In the first part of the article, the researchers introduce the concept of mediatization in a comprehensive way.
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For instance, the authors explain that, with increasing mediatization, companies become part of the public sphere and a part of society, having serious implications for their operations. In the second part of the paper, the authors outline previous research and explore existing thoughts on mediatized companies, noting that researchers usually see businesses that focus on stakeholders as problematic. They also describe some of the effects of the increasing mediatization of organizations.
For example, Litschka and Karmasin (2012) assert that companies are now expected to provide more evidence of strong business ethics, while unethical choices and decisions may have serious negative effects on businesses. Therefore, mediatization may cause many organizations to reconsider their commitment to ethical causes to provide the opportunity for a better relationship with the stakeholders.
The next section of the article summarizes the authors’ qualitative research regarding organizational and communicative barriers to ethical decision-making in Austrian companies. In their findings, role conflicts on the part of managers, informational advantages, and competitive pressure were indicated as barriers to ethical decision-making, as well as opportunistic behavior, the new ICT, and more. Finally, the authors provide some recommendations for promoting ethical decision-making in organizations that face similar issues.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The main strength of the article is that it provides a thorough insight into the relationship of the mediatization of organizations and ethical decision-making. Business ethics is an important subject as it provides many benefits to organizations, such as a stronger workforce, better reputation among partners and customers, and enhanced organizational outcomes. Mediatization, on the other hand, is a common trend that applies to most businesses operating in developed countries. However, research exploring the impact of mediatization on business ethics is limited. This article provides a thorough literature review of the topic, thus offering a useful overview of the interaction between the two concepts and making it significant to society. The article also provides many useful recommendations for businesses that operate in mediatized environments.
The recommendations provided by the authors can be applied to different types of businesses, which also enhances the article’s significance to businesses. For instance, the authors advise introducing formal procedures for ethical decision-making instead of relying on management, which helps avoid the problems that occur on an individual level.
The main weakness of the article is that only a small part of it is devoted to the authors’ empirical research. While they provide an extensive literature review and introduce the topic thoroughly, their description of the qualitative study behind the article is very brief. The authors could have devoted more space to describing the chosen companies and the environment in which these entities operate, as well as elaborating on the possible reasons for the problems indicated in the interviews. The recommendations section is also somewhat limited as the authors do not provide any consistent information on the types of companies that would benefit from such practices or possible ways of implementing the recommendations.
Overall, this article provides useful insight into the overlap of the topics of mediatization and business ethics. It is important to society as it gives an overview of the relationship between two trends that are crucial to the successful functioning of any business. Both mediatization and ethical decision-making are among the determinants of an organization’s success. Thus, by providing useful recommendations that apply to a wide variety of enterprises, the article can help businesses to improve their ethical decision-making process to achieve a competitive advantage and improved organizational performance.
Litschka, M., & Karmasin, M. (2012). Ethical implications of the mediatization of organizations. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 10(4), 222-239. Web.