|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Education Literature review Human behavior Business ethics|
The document by Harsha on Building Ethical Resilience talks about the role of psychological traps that cause unethical behavior in workplaces. She defines three significant pitfalls that lead employees to behave in a certain way. First, the primary traps are caused by external stimuli that lead people to behave specifically without regard to ethical principles. Second, the personality trap consists of internal stimuli in the form of various personality traits that make it vulnerable to doing the wrong things. Lastly, defensive traps come as a result of trying to justify an individual’s transgressions.
Askew, O. A., Beisler, J. M., & Keel, J. (2015). Current trends of unethical behavior within organizations. International Journal of Management & Information Systems (IJMIS), 19(3), 107-114.
The book Current Trends of Unethical Behavior Within Organizations by Askew, Beisler, and Jetonga Keel produced in 2015 presents information on the prevalence of unethical behaviour, antecedents of unethical behaviour, the organizational environment, cognitive moral development, and trends of unethical behaviour. It defines the three significant antecedents of unethical behaviour as the individuals, the ethical issue, and the organizational environment.
Mulder, L. B., Jordan, J., & Rink, F. (2015). The effect of specific and general rules on ethical decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 126, 115-129.
The book The effect of specific and general rules on ethical decisions by Mulder, Jordan, and Rink, published in 2015, talks about the few areas that might impact the decision-making process in an organization. Some of these areas of concern while making decision includes advertising, sales, pricing, and confidentiality policies. These factors might affect the organization’s reputation, customer base, and sales of the company.
Ethical issues involve the company’s obligations to its employees, suppliers, customers, and neighbors. On the other hand, business ethics ensures the consistency of those obligations with economic and strategic choices that are conflict with one another. Ethical behaviour involves an individual’s personal beliefs or shared organizational views. Business ethics applies to all aspects of business conduct by individuals and organizations as a whole. Ethical decision making involves the process of assessing the moral consequences of a course of action. Organizations have highly invested in trying to learn the unethical behaviour in their companies since they affect their organizational performances, financial losses, reputational damages, safety concerns, and loss of customers.
Ethical Decisions That Impact Several Organizations
Business ethics requires businesses to carry out transactions in an ethical manner. Business ethics has five key elements, honesty, integrity, trust, confidentiality, and openness. In the business world, leaders need to make several decisions that impact all aspects of the organization. Some of the areas that require the ethical making of decisions are as discussed below. First, ethical advertising decisions. Advertising in businesses serves a critical role since it helps them increase a customer base (Culiberg & Mihelic, 2016). Therefore, while carrying out advertising decisions, the organization has to do it in an ethical manner that honestly portrays the product or service. Unethical advertising involves using deceitful and misleading information to sell a product (Albrecht, 2017). Moreover, another form of unethical advertising involves degrading a competitor’s product to make your product look better. This type of advertising can harm both the customers and the organization.
Secondly, another area of concern involves ethical policies on confidentiality. Most of the business code of ethics requires some secrecy. Customers need to know that the information provides during a purchase or dealings with a company get protected, and it will not be used in ways they do not approve (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). Further, employees also need assurance that their files will get protection from unauthorized personnel. Unethical behaviour in business, in this case, involves refusing to disclose business intended practices that include selling a customer’s and employees’ information to third parties and other firms.
Consequently, another area of concern involves ethical sales practices. A company’s decision on how to conduct sales serves as a critical issue that can affect all its industries. Ethical transactions significantly entail honesty and integrity. For instance, a company should honestly disclose all the advantages and disadvantages of its products and services since customers will have the chance to compare the products to the rest of the market. Furthermore, refusing to disclose some of the information, for example, a product used in the process of manufacture, might have an allergy or negative impact on the customers. In return, destroying the reputation of the company to the market hence decrease in sales. Finally, another area of concern involves ethical pricing strategies. All businesses have the right and the final on what to charge for their products or services. However, these businesses have a moral limitation on their pricing. For instance, as supported by Askew, Beisler, and Keel (2015), it is ethically okay for a company to increase its prices after an increase in the cost associated with manufacturing. Nevertheless, it is unethical for businesses to tend to raise prices for products and services to the customers when they are in a predicament, and they have no choice rather than purchase the product—for example, increasing water prices during a natural disaster.
Causes of Unethical Behavior by Employees During Decision-Making
Unethical behaviour is usually defined as actions that do not conform to the acceptable standards of business or operations. The wrong steps are not right or proper for a person, profession, or industry. This can be brought about by an individual, corporate culture, or a situation where the whole organization is corrupt right from the leaders to the juniors in a work hierarchy. Some unethical actions are not illegal but cause harsh or insignificant effects on society, yet the activities fall under the law.
Psychological Traps as the Causes of Unethical Behavior
A psychological trap encourages an individual to behave in a certain unethical way. These traps distort an individual’s perception of the right and wrong so that he or she believes that whatever they are doing is right. These traps act as illusions or webs of deception. However, once realized, these traps lose their power and influence, and people can avoid inevitable mistakes in the office. People behave in a certain way because of the impulses that encourage them to do so. These impulses come as a result of internal and external stimuli. In this case, the paper discusses which incentives motivate people to move in a disastrous direction.
One of the traps includes the first trap. These traps majorly comprise of external stimuli. They serve as the significant traps that influence people to behave in a certain way without the consideration of ethical principles. For example, obedience to authority serves as a first trap. Harsha gives an example of children who are primed to obey their parents and teachers for their survival. Consequently, in a workplace, the employee follows their bosses even without thinking. In this case, when a boss orders an employee to do something unethical in the workplace, a dominant external stimulus leads the employee to carry out the act without minding his or her ethical principles (Albrecht, 2017). At other times, subordinates might know the order was unethical, but the impulse to obey the boss overrides their judgment (Harsha). This type of trait makes companies have the need t hire psychologists who help in the ethics and compliance team since they can recognize this type of trap and work on it. Most subordinates carry such unethical behaviour as ordered since they do not want to lose their boss’ support sine it might ruin their career and end up losing their jobs.
The personal trap is another psychological trap that leads people to behave in a particular way in the workplace. Personality traps comprise exclusively internal stimuli portrayed as various personality traits that make people more vulnerable to doing the wrong thing (Mulder, Jordan, & Rink, 2015). For example, such as trap involve the need for closure, which is the desire to get a clear answer on a particular topic rather than tolerate confusion and ambiguity. In this case, employees jump on the first attitude that comes in one’s mind rather than taking the time to look at the problem in different dimensions and then coming up with a decision.
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