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Workplace Ethics for Employers Essay

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Updated: Sep 14th, 2021

Consequentialist ethics may be defined as moral theories that state that the determining factor whether an a action is morally right or wrong is the outcome of hat action so that a positive outcome makes an action right while a negative outcome automatically renders an action morally wrong. A consequentliast therefore is one whose way of thinking is based on consequentialism principle. Both egoism and utilitarianism are theories of ethics. They are also hedonistic theories in tat their major concern is pleasure and pain. The only difference between the two is whose interest is at stake in determining how right or wrong an action is. While a utilitarian believes that interests of every person count, an egoist believes that the only interests at stake are those of oneself only. Egoism therefore is of the view that an action is morally right if it intends to elevate one’s personal interest.

Egoism is therefore tied with selfishness as only thinks of the self. Utilitarianism on the other hand focuses on the good of all as opposed to interests of an individual. There is therefore a connotation of selflessness. Critics of this theory however argue that this theory at times, in implementing this theory one might have to have to go against his principles for the good will of the majority. On the other hand in non-consequentialist theory the determining factor whether an action is right or wrong are the properties attached to the action and not based on the consequences as in consequentialist theory. Philosopher Kant as of the idea that peoples should follow the principle of treating all property as common as opposed to doing something only when it is convenient. Unlike other philosophers who developed other theories, Kant did not dwell on consequences of actions but instead the way people think while making their choices. According to Kant, it’s only good will that is good. The will in Kant’s argument is the kind of will found in human beings and gives human beings intrinsic dignity and enables the humans to make morally rational choices and is not material by nature. This will however is only good if its acts of respect for the moral law instead of acting on persuasion.

Only actions done for the sake of duty have moral worth as opposed to actions done in accordance with duty.. As discussed earlier utilitarian theory focuses on the outcome of an action to determine whether an action is right or wrong. Justice on the other hand brings about the virtue of moral uprightness fairness and equality Critics of this theory argue that by using one’s judgment on the outcome of an action only automatically bring the concept of justice into the picture. This basically means that the problems created by this theory are too complex for any justice concept. According to Rawls’ the concept of justice brings the issue of fairness. Rawls’ critics however point out that his definition cannot stand, as it requires justice to be viewed as political and one that has no moral basis as opposed to viewing justice as being good. In his concept of justice Rawls clearly pointed out that every person has an equal right to make a claim of their basic rights and that opportunities should to a large extent be of benefit the weak and have nots in the society. Therefore unlike utilitarian theory whose focus is satisfaction and happiness for the majority, Rawls’ concept of justice focuses on fairness and equality.

He therefore considered an action to be right if it was fair and gave equal opportunities to all and with special consideration to the weak and neglected in the society. The concept of the invisible hand was developed by Adam Smith. In his explanation, he stated that an individual who seeks to fulfill his own personal interest might unknowingly fulfill the interests of the society at large. His expectation was that if an individual seeks to increase his total gains so does he increase the total gains of the society as the gains of the society are made up by the total sum of each individual’s gains. The invisible hand theory is of the view that if everyone in the market (consumers and producers) is allowed to do as per their choice, then the market will have fair product distribution and prices and this shall benefit the whole community. However, Smith pointed out that it is not every action done in self-interest provides benefit to the larger community. He gave an example with the tobacco manufacturers and the industry at large that brings high returns in revenue and manufacturers make huge profits. However, it is not beneficial to the larger community as cigarette smokers put their life to risk for consuming the product. Therefore, his major emphasis was though self-centeredness is not good it should not always be considered so, because depending on the circumstances it may be beneficial to all especially in the markets.

The concept of employee loyalty can be viewed in various categories. The interest of an employee to remain productive in a particular organization is a valuable element in assessing an employee’s loyalty. The over and above input of a particular employee in order to produce more than the expected results if of essence. A loyal employee is one who has purposed to remain with the organization and more often than not will decline more attractive job offers. Keen observation and thorough research clearly indicates that over the years employee loyalty at the various stations of work has greatly reduced. As discussed earlier a loyal employee will also display their loyalty to the organization by going over and above his scope of duty to ensure that everything in the organization is on track. However, research indicates that for loyalty to prevail, it must be done both ways. This means that it is not only the employee who ought to be loyal to the employer but so should the employer to the employee. Various researchers have however come to a conclusion that employee loyalty is different depending on each individual’s perception of what employee loyalty is. It is very important to draw lines between moral loyalty and the attachment of an employee towards an organization. Moral loyalty has got to with the possession of some very important virtues like honesty by an employee by an employee of any given organization.

On the other hand the attachment of an employee towards an organization involves the employee’s willingness to use all the resources available to increase output of the organization. This will sometimes involve going an extra mile to do that, which is not within one’s scope in a bid to ensure that the organization’s goals and targets are achieved. Lack of loyalty by employees has very adverse effects on the organization. The very obvious effect is that the organization’s general output reduces and therefore the profit margin goes down. This in turn suppresses the organization’s ability to sustain high number of employees and the immediate action is layoffs. This sequence of events clearly illustrates the effects of disloyalty of employees. Interestingly from the illustration, it is of essence to note that the disloyalty by employees trickles down to the employees themselves and the eventual result, which is always negative, affects them most. The main reason why employees do not exude much loyalty to their organizations is because the employers do not offer them any sponsorship to help them develop their career and thus feel insecure in their jobs hence no need to be loyal. When an employee’s loyalty erodes completely and he eventually decides to leave, the organization is on the losing end as it would have to use its resources to train another person while the previous employee has left with some knowledge useful to the organization.

Legally, an employee is entitled to his/her privacy while at work. This means activities like recording conversations, monitoring your moves as an employee and similar behavior by employers is totally unacceptable and against the law. Although an employer has a right to monitor the activities of his employees to ensure that an excellent job is done, there is a limit and extent up to which he should not exceed. Employees are therefore advised to prevent monitoring of private calls by employers, employees should use mobile phone and avoid using office phones to make personal calls. The violation of employees’ workplace privacy rights majorly happens in the private sector as opposed to the public sector. It is even more disturbing to note that most of this illegal monitoring of employees is done without their knowledge and consent inspite of all the legislation laws in place to curb the vice. Employers however take advantage, as there is no specific law that makes it illegal to use electronic devices for surveillance. Although some employers will always notify their employees of the surveillance, the greatest percentage does not inform the employees. However if an employee’s right of privacy at the work place has been violated he can bring a legal action against the employer.

The employment at will is an ancient arrangement between the employer and the employee where any party not contented with the arrangement at any time during the contract could comfortably end the contract. Termination on just cause usually is when an employer finding an employee to be unproductive decides to terminate his contract on a just cause of his unproductivity. Labor unions have contributed greatly in the improvement of wages and salaries of the common employee. It has also been established that unions reduce profits and destabilize financial performance. Unions are also associated with low productivity and growth. Therefore, one pro associated with unions is the fact that they fight for their employee thus increasing their wages. On the other hand unions are said to reduce profitability hence impacts negatively in that way. Notion of reasonable harm is usually based on the common person reasoning. It is known as the objective test. This basically what majority of people perceives to be reasonable harm. Notion of firm as part of the society basically focuses on equality in the society and accommodating everyone so that they all have a sense of belonging in the society. Almost all categories of academic philosophies are based on the notion of interest and the notion of contract

Works Cited

Daniel Terris. Business Ethics UPNE 2005.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Workplace Ethics for Employers." September 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/workplace-ethics-for-employers/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Workplace Ethics for Employers'. 14 September.

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