Ethical Dilemmas in Business

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Q: Explain the factors that affect the employee ethics? Discuss ethics in international context? Ans:Following are the factors that affect ethics of employee in work context.

Principles, values, and beliefs that define right and wrong:If a person has a firm belief in the self made principled then he would do the things that he feels are right. He would do the thighs that he feels are right for others and have no harm for any one. He would follow self chosen principles.

Stages of moral development (Preconventional, Conventional, Principled):Its also very important factor regarding the ethical behavior of the person. If a person is at a preconventional stage, he would strictly for the rules that he knows. This might have good and bad effect on the organization. There might be some places where rules might be needed to violate for an overall betterment of the organization. He would do thighs with the immediate interest. A person in conventional stage of his moral development would do the thighs that would make happy those persons that are more important for him like supervisor for this worker. This may lead to the unethical activities for getting the personal goals. He might also do the thighs for which he would ask to do. Individual characteristics Issue intensity

Ethical Dilemma

Stage of Moral development


Ethical and unethical behavior

Structural Variable

Organizational Culture

Individual characteristics (Values, Ego Strength, Locus of control): Values:If a person posses a set of values that could lead him towards following the self interest thighs this may destructed ethical values that needed to be follow. On the other hand person with values that well judge right and wrong could and fulfill his tasks assign to him (obeying type) can prove to have high degree of ethics for the society then first one.

Ego Strength:A person with high ego value resists impulse unethically and instead follows his conviction. Hey more likely think that what they think is right. This kind of persons is consistent in moral judgments actions then those with low ego. Locus of control: It is degree to which people believe they control their own fate. Internal locus of control> They feel they control their own destiny. External Locus of Control> They believe on luck. External locus person is less likely to take personal responsibilities for the consequences of their behavior and are more likely to rely on external forces. On the other hand people with internal locus likely to take responsibilities for the job done. They follow the standards of right and wrong to guide their behavior. They prove to be more consistent in moral judgment.

Structural Variables (Formal rules and regulations, Work Goals,

Performance appraisal system, Reward allocation):One organization may provide stronger guidance while other may provide ambiguity and uncertainty. Organization with less ambiguity and uncertainty get work through formal rules and regulations. Employees are more likely to be encouraged for the ethical behavior. Mechanisms that influence ethics include the use of goals, performance appraisal system and reward allocation system. People who did not come up with goals, this may also lad to ward the unethical behavior. For example if one is unable to come up the goals he would use some unfair mean to get to that goal so that he could get the reward. Performance appraisal system also effect ethics. Some focus exclusively o out come while other may focus on the end as well. If employees are evaluating on the basis of out come this enforce the employee to minimize his standards of ethics. Just think of this type of thinking. Danger view is that supervisor takes more lenient view for successful employee which would serve as the role model. Behavior of the employee is significantly important to influence the ethics of the employee.

Organizational Culture (Strong Culture):Organization culture that encourages high ethical standards is one that is high in risk tolerance and control and conflict tolerance. In such culture employee will be encourage to be innovative and he knows that unethical behavior will not be tolerated. Stronger this culture greater will be ethics.

Issue Intensity (Greatness of harm, Consensus of wrong, Probability of

harm, Immediacy of consequences, Proximity of victims, and Concentration of effect):Greater the intensity of the issue greater will be the importance of that issue for the person. Larger the number harm greater the agreement that act is wrong., greater the like hood that action will be harm, more immediate consequences of that action will be felt, closer the victim feel to the victim more concentrated effect of the action on the victim, greater the issue intensity. More important a ethical issue is that is more intense, the more we should accept employee to behave ethically.

Greatness of harm

Consensus of wrong

Probability of harm

Intensity of Issue

Concentration of effect Proximity to victim

Immediacy of consequences

Ethics in International Context:If one living in one end of the world want to do work in an international environment he got to recognize various social, culture and political influences on what is appropriate and acceptable behavior. Global organization mi\must clarify their ethical values guideline so that employee can work in accordance to the requirement of that particular area. One can not say that if one thing is right in one particular country will be right I n other part of the world. Gesture is one of the examples that need to be considering while working in international context.

In a international context a firm working globally is enforced by the competitive and human right protecting agencies, environmentally protecting agencies and those who are making sure labor standards to be ethical which might not that much important in the national context. International rules and regulation authorities like Anti Bribery Convention also enforce the firm to behave ethically.