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When an organization decides to downsize, what ethical issues should a manager consider? How would you handle a situation when your ethical principles conflict with your organization’s ethics? What ethical issues must you consider when engaging in political behavior in your organization? How do ethical dilemmas increase stress? What responsibility does an organization have, if any, to reduce stress for their employees?
Sample response #1 When the decision is made for an organization to downsize, managers will receive this information before the other company employees. As soon as this occurs, members of management may find themselves confronted with a dilemma of ethics. A manager must consider whether he or she should tell employees as soon as possible, to ease the transitions, or whether he or she should follow the company’s instructions in telling employees. Although giving employees ample warning may seem like the “right” thing to do, ethical problems are inherent in this. To begin, any unofficial communication gives employees an advantage, which is unethical. Next, a manager must understand the role he or she must play when the organization experiences difficulties. The manager must act as a coherent stabilizer, which assures that organizational stability is maintained. A manager that disregard’s his or her organization’s mandates is acting unethically since his or her payment is due to him or her functioning as a representation of that organization. Office politics and political behavior, while they certainly have roles to fill in organizations, can quickly become unethical. Contacts must be made and information must be exchanged among people for them to have effective careers. When an employee uses politics unfairly with others, however, to hurt them with the goal of personal gain, that employee has acted in an unethical manner. Such politically-motivated behavior spreads quickly and easily because other employees will feel that they must also act politically for the purpose of self-preservation. In time, poor habits in organizations will lead to workplaces that are highly stressful, which will then turn into dysfunction. Employers have an obligation to employees as well as to themselves to minimize stress. They can do so when they invest in their organizations’ health using education, team building, and positive reinforcement. Sample response #2 When an organization decides to downsize, what ethical issues should a manager consider? How would you handle a situation when your ethical principles conflict with your organization’s ethics? Discrimination, communication with employees, employees’ rights, justification, and fairness are all ethical issues that managers should take into consideration once an organization has decided to downsize. Managers can ease the stressful situation by continuing to communicate with employees and upper management regarding the reasons and circumstances for downsizing. Should my ethics conflict with my organization’s ethics, I would talk about the situation with family and my manager. Misinterpretation on my part could always be a possibility, and speaking with my manager would help me be certain that the situation was clear to me. Once clarification took place, should I realize that I could not ignore my principles in the situation, I would leave my position. My family
if any. resolution of conflicting interests. when political behavior is engaged in. feel greater anxiety. All organizations should have an officer of ethics or a department focused on ethics. obtaining special favors through improper channels. and have poorer job performance. Once I worked for an organization where the manager’s “favorites” received the best shifts or raises. are more likely to be depressed. the organization’s goals. such a person or department would aid employees in discussions about ethical dilemmas. Resentfulness and jealousy are often emotions that employees feel when they follow protocol properly because they interpret the situation as resulting in the organization unfairly distributing resources. If I were in a situation that required me to let an employee go. All of these results can lead to greater workplace stress levels. legal. or getting approval for special projects by sidestepping the chain of command are all examples of self-serving behaviors which undermine the organization’s environment of fairness. I believe organizations should instruct their employees in stress management techniques. Petitioning a high-level manager just prior to promotion decisions. I would be certain to properly analyze the entire situation. it would make an uncomfortable situation even more difficult. Psychological. remember the integrity and dignity of employees who have maintained loyalty to the organization. privately of course. to demonstrate the respect I have for the employee. if you had been a favorite of the manager and then you fell to being disliked. however. are less satisfied with their jobs. ethical issues that need to be considered are fairness. This is because not all employees use politics to serve their own purposes. and negotiating will all be behaviors of people in this type of situation. (Should someone overhear the conversation. to reduce stress for their employees? When attempting to gain resources that are scarce. the situation was even worse. Organizations should also have a human resources department or officer who understands such situations and can aid employees in learning stress reduction techniques. This resulted in a situation where workers either had to brownnose or receive the worst shifts. Managers should also. This is because often people do not know the right course of action to take. personal ethics and values. Sample response #3 Managers have responsibility for the financial and legal matters of the corporation when that organization makes the decision to downsize.) . or they may be worried about the potential repercussions of their actions. and economic issues can arise among the employees who are let go due to corporate downsizing. Employees who believe that their organization is fueled by politics are not as committed to that organization. Once again. However. Stress rises as a result of an ethical dilemma. such as recognition and rewards. Political behavior within an organization is often stressful and complicated. bargaining. and discrimination. like-minded people ally together in organizational politics. like alliance-building. a situation that I regarded as completely unfair. I would then lay off the employee in person. Behavior that is usually typical of government organizations.would be part of the decision-making process because they would need to be prepared should I choose to leave my position. What ethical issues must you consider when engaging in political behavior in your organization? How do ethical dilemmas increase stress? What responsibility does an organization have.
For example. lack of job interest. Ethical dilemmas can result in conflicts between employees. Because of this. and some have children who are dependent on them. Ethics can be directly influenced by politics because some people have views that are drastically different from others. Their life experiences have been different as well. A hairdresser that has plenty of hair color with not conflict with his or her client over this issue and thus will not have that additional stress. but I would still need to honest and direct. that no one else is offended. Employers have a responsibility to reduce stress. This is essential for reducing the level of stress in the workplace. I have a clear-cut choice to make: tolerate the situation or leave.S. Most employees have some sort of family. . and decreased motivation among employees. Workplace-related stress has been the cause of terrible crimes throughout the U. however. Should I find that my ethics differ from the organization of which I am part. Participating in organizational political behavior can be tricky. I have no qualms about raising this issue with my supervisor or other superiors. Workplace stress reduction should be considered a priority by employees as well as the organization as a whole. refraining from politics. Should a resolution not be possible. As an employee I am obligated to obey the company’s rules no matter what I think of them. because everyone holds different views and opinions. and I would do my best to answer the employee’s questions. Sample response #4 When an organization downsizes. Companies have the right to run their businesses they way that they see fit. it always needs to take into consideration the employees who may lose their jobs. which will then lead to stress. you work in the political arena!). I would also be certain that no distractions were present during the discussion. unnecessary stress. a hairdresser that has no hair color for a client will encounter a conflict with that client. of course. and by ensuring that all employees have the resources necessary to meet the job expectations. They should also keep in mind other people who may find themselves affected by the downsizing. is the best policy (unless. They need to be certain that all employees have the resources necessary to adequately perform their job functions. Thus. Organizations should always work towards reduction of stress for employees. then. Downsizing the organization and eliminating jobs will negatively impact not just the employees but the people who depend on those employees. people need to be certain that no lines are crossed.Compassion would be my guiding concern. They can do this by making sure that management is competent and effective. it is almost impossible to know if your opinions are hurting another person.
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