|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Human resources Organizational behavior Business ethics Ethical dilemma|
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 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.
Some causes of unethical behaviour by employees include but not limited to:
No code of ethics
Ethics guide a company or a group of people on how to conduct themselves or operate. An organization without this code of ethics will have employees do or work wrongly since the company doesn't have guidelines on what’s right or wrong. Lack of this ethics poses a threat to employees, endangers the future of the company for lack of direction, and also jeopardizes the public good (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). Lack of code of ethics will cause unethical behaviour during decision making since employees do not have a set of organizational values to adhere to; therefore, no set boundaries.
2. lying to employees
In an organization employee who frequently works together belong to the same peer group.
Behavioural characteristics or norms of others frequently change the other person’s natural behaviour. For example, if another employee uses dishonesty in a presentation and never gets caught means the other could successfully commit fraud and never gets caught. Working under unsupervised isolated situation under competition increases unethical behaviour while making decisions to achieve prestige (Culiberg & Mihelic, 2016). When suspicion of dishonesty grows with multiple peers behaving dishonestly then, the desire to act increases similarly because, if other employees are doing it gives the other person a perception that that decision is right.
3. Setting a bad example
Ethical behaviour in any organization starts from the top. Employees, in return, emulate their leaders; therefore, leaders who demonstrate personal character are likely to be perceived as setting a firm tone. Leaders sometimes claim that they want an ethical standard upheld their choices, yet maybe corrupting the decisions of those they lead. Leaders make it physiologically unsafe for employees to freely speak up yet keep saying they have an open-door policy, but their actions may scare employees away (Mulder, Jordan, & Rink, 2015). Employees speaking up is vital to make sure people do not incite misconduct. Leaders applying excessive pressure to reach unrealistic targets may influence them to act unethically. Lastly, leaders not reviewing their compliance policy frequently with their employees leads to unethical decision making since they tend to forget.
4. Fear of reprisal
When explaining why they don’t report ethical misconduct that they witness, people often say it's because they worry about the ramifications. People consider that by reporting ethical malpractice, they are risking their careers and could also become a target of vengeance by the offender. Or, sometimes, they let the infraction go because they don’t have the skills to report it or they feel that their report could also be ignored.
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 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. The need to get closure by employees gets amplified by working conditions that make the processing of information difficult in the workplace, such as time pressure, fatigue, and excessive voice in the office. These conditions make toleration of confusion and ambiguity difficult in the office. Additionally, personality traits can influence the need for closure sine some people can tolerate ambiguity more than others. Arie Kruglanski has developed a scale to measure the need for closure personality (Albrecht, 2017).
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