This paper highlights ethical issues of concern in organizational behavior, stressing their importance in organizations and how individual influences can impact on the ethical behavior of their employees.
The paper, in addition, gives a detailed contemporary example of an ethical issue that was reported on Wall Street Journal. In line with its context, this paper addresses major ethical issues that affect organizational behavior through the following three questions:
- Why ethical issues are major distress in different organizations
- How individual influences impact on organizations ethical behavior
- How organizations can influence the ethical behaviors in their employees
Ethical issues can split or strongly bind an organization’s employees depending on the consequences or rewards of how the ethical issues are addressed. The unity of employees in any organization or the reverse of it majorly impacts the organizations’ productivity.
According to Kinicki and Kreitner (2009), ethics deals with the learning of moral concerns and choices. It deals with right versus wrong and good versus bad. (p.23).
The ethical issues, therefore, present complex and daunting tasks to the managers and junior employees alike, for instance, a decision involving an ethical issue can influence how the manager will be viewed in the organization.
It will either align the employees to a given ethical culture of the organization or present a major decisional dilemma to the management for subsequent misconducts.
The ethical issues affecting organizations sprouts outside the organizational setups and as such all the organizational employee’s conducts, both within and outside the organization can largely influence the performance of an organization and its public image as well.
According to Kinicki and Kreitner (2009), managers are more challenged to do right things compared to their juniors. Kinicki and Kreitner (2009), further stress that the ethical decisions organizations may take have far-reaching multidimensional consequences (p.23).
In Kinicki and Kreitner (2009), all individuals have a set of characteristics originating from “personality, values, moral principles, history of reinforcement, and gender.” (p.25).
Individual’s innate nature and private history dictate their ethical framework, implying that it is never ‘a blank slate’ as it was originally (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009).
The ethical framework of an individual should, however, not be fixed. The individuals should have rooms to be influenced either positively or negatively.
Since individuals have the tendency to be influenced either positively or negatively, this poses hopeful and worrying emotions when it comes to organizations hiring.
This is the main reason why personality and other related tests resembling Meyers-Briggs are vastly cherished in hiring decisions in most organizations. The employing organization can, therefore, get a clue of where the prospective employee falls on the ethical spectrum before the hiring decision is reached.
According to Kinicki and Kreitner (2009), the individuals are faced with both internal and external influences in their organizations, the internal influences the organization poses to individuals includes: organizational structure, culture, size, corporate strategy and apparent pressure for the individuals to give results.
Both influences are great and occasionally override the strategies and codes found in the organization (p.25).
Taking a practical case of James Murdoch that has recently been in the public domain, his ethical conducts in the alleged cover-up at News Corp. a British Newspaper (Sonne, 2012, p.1).
Mr. Murdoch faces grilling over alleged illicit reporting tactics. News Corp is believed to have illegally tapped the voice mails of politicians, celebrities and crime victims (Sonne, 2012, p.1).
The grilling floats up the ethical conducts and culture of the ‘reputable organization’. The ethical risk Mr. Murdoch faces has major repercussions to the organization’s reputation.
Mr. Murdoch’s conducts or role in the scam that raises questions on his ethical conduct is in my views the organizations and his position in the business.
The ethical issue however spreads and engulfs him as an employee. This is an evident of how organizations may influence ethical behaviors of their employees.
In summary, there are countless facets that affect ethical behavior. Throughout life, individuals accumulate ethical or unethical behaviors that add up to their personality traits.
The accrued individual’s behaviors later merge with both the internal and external influences in the organization to shape their ethical archetype.
Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational Behavior: Key Concepts, Skills and Best Practices. New York, U.S.A: Mcgraw-Hill
Sonne, P. (2012). The Wall Street Journal: Murdoch Faces Media Ethics Inquiry.