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Over the next few pages; the Researcher will address her views on the role and importance of employee virtue about an organization's: Hiring decisions, manager and employee relationships and culture. The Researcher will address what employee virtues she thinks is most important in fostering ethical behavior in an organization. The Researcher will also address views and perspective on the internal and external ethical business practices as moral duty of organizations. Lastly; the Researcher will state her agreement or disagreement on the statement: "The true measure of business success is found in what is done when no one is looking."
Organizational hiring criteria helps decide which individuals enter organizational labor markets as well as serving as an important part of organizational control systems. More effort placed on screening workers at entry means that less emphasis may be placed on training and socialization or on watching them once in the organization. It has been suggested that hiring standards for different occupations (both white and blue collar) within establishments were positively correlated with each other and were affected by the same set of causes. Formal hiring standards were positively related to the presence of a personnel department, to the amount of training and technological change, and to the presence of an internal labor market. The part of the workforce covered by collective bargaining was negatively related to organizational selectivity, and there was no effect of economic and organizational size once other organizational reasons were controlled. The results suggest that hiring standards reflect not only organizations' skill needs but also the preferences of various groups for such standards and their ability to enforce these preferences. (Cohen & Pfeffer, 1986)
The manager, who is responsible for personnel decisions, must first understand the needs of the situation. The manager should ask themselves, is it essential all employees adopt the new ways immediately, or could a way be found to keep the older workers useful until retirement? If it is needed, the manager must have the judgment necessary to decide when workers have fallen below the standard of performance. Management need to be able to sense of fairness to understand their contribution to the company in the past and to make every attempt to bring them up to the standard. Management must have the moral courage to carry through the decision despite pressures from several sides to do otherwise, and the compassion to deal with the workers, if they must be let go, as gently as possible. (Newton, L. n.d)
Employees are defined by a contract, written, whose terms may vary, between individuals and some other entity, individual or collective, from now on the "employer." Employees work, the employer pays the employees for that work, according to the terms of the contract. Employees, thus hand over two degrees of freedom before the first day of work: they are bound in fact by their employer's power, meaning that all decisions and actions must be conditioned by their perception of the likely consequences of such decisions and acts in the form of the employer's reaction, and they are bound in conscience by their commitment to serve their employer's interests first, before anything else that might seem to need serving, including themselves. (Newton, L. n.d)
The roles assigned to the employees correspond to the functions that they fulfill in the company, sets of tasks that further particular aspects of the company's business. The virtue of anything is the condition in which it best fulfills its function, the virtue of the employees is the disposition (attitude, discipline, and knowledge and skill level) appropriate for their jobs, and virtuous employees are those who do their jobs well. (Newton, L. n.d)
Culture represents the personality of an organization, having a major influence on both employee satisfaction and organizational success. It expresses shared assumptions, values and beliefs and is the social glue that holds an organization together. While every organization has a culture, it is sometimes elusive and open to different interpretations. (Kane-Urrabazo, 2006)
Organizational culture is the characteristic spirit and belief of an organization, demonstrated in the norms and values that are generally held about the way people should behave and treat one another, the nature of the working relationships that should be developed and the attitudes to change. (Whetstone, 2005)
Organizational culture is the great invisible force that decides the difference between
success and failure and serves as the key to organizational change, productivity, effectiveness,
control, innovation and communication. Hampden-Turner (1992: 1) observes that in the world of increasingly flat companies and sophisticated knowledge-based products, the control and understanding of an organization's corporate culture is a key responsibility of leaders, as well as a vital tool of management if it is to encourage high performance and maintain shareholder value. The ethical leader is called upon to promote and expect the right practice of good values and discourage the ever-present pressures to practice the bad. (Whetstone, 2005)
Culture in an organization is very important, playing a large role in whether or not the organization is a happy, healthy place in which to work. While many managers acknowledge the significance of culture, few realize the roles and responsibilities that they have in its development. Regardless of the type of culture (i.e. power, role, task and person); trustworthiness and trust, empowerment and delegation, consistency and mentorship - all contribute to the overall good of the organization. These factors cannot stand-alone. Not only do they coexist, but also empowerment and mentorship are based upon the foundation of trustworthiness and trust, and likewise, a strong mentor program contributes to that level of trust as well.
Important Factors in Fostering Ethical Behavior
The Researcher believes being trustworthy, feeling a sense of empowerment from management, and consistency within an organization will foster ethical behavior amongst employees.
Trustworthiness is more than integrity; it also connotes competence. While trustworthiness is a result of character and competence, trust is the actual act of believing in
someone and having confidence in them. The level of trust in an organization can foretell its success because it is a crucial element linked to employee performance and organizational commitment. Trust includes the willingness to take risks because the act of trusting makes one vulnerable to others actions. The trustor must rely on the assumption that others will act in a favorable manner. (Kane-Urrabazo, 2006)
Empowerment is the process of enabling others to do something. Principle-centered Leadership implies that personal contribution is a great motivator. Employees want to feel valued and the principle of empowerment contributes to an employee's sense of worth. A manager can empower others by including them in problem solving. Many managers today seek quick-fix solutions to chronic problems, and they fail to see the long-term consequences of their
short-ranged decisions. (Kane-Urrabazo, 2006)
Covey (1991) discusses the importance of consistency within an organization, and introduces the term alignment. Within an organization, this means that its structure, mission statement, shared values, management philosophies and all other aspects must be congruent
(or aligned) with one another. These components align when an organization is centered on unwavering principles (such as trustworthiness, trust and empowerment). There will be no contradiction between what is said and what is actually done. (Kane-Urrabazo, 2006)
Internal and External Ethical Business Practices as Moral Duty of an Organization
The Researcher believes corporation's has a moral obligation to be ethical both internally and externally. Corporations are in a position where they can be a positive or negative force in the communities they reside in. It is the opinion of the researcher these corporation ethical behavior should be the same internally and externally.
Given the nature of the activity engaged in by business firms, it is logical that the primacy of the business organization's goals, i.e., efficiency in input factor utilization and profitability in market-exchange transactions, would temper and define the outer limits of ethical discretion, and the mode in which it manifests itself, on the part of business institutions and their managers. These market-based considerations impose severe pressures, and may even threaten the survival of the firm, and thereby significantly alter the dimensions of the choice-band within
which business firms, and their managers, must make ethical decisions. (Sethi & Sama, 1998).
Any significant change in business behavior requiring ethical choices, therefore, must concern itself with the dual set of variables, i.e., those related to an organization's culture, value norms and traditions, and, the external constraints that alter the relative costs and payoff matrix-be it in terms of making moral choices or calculating economic sacrifices for the firm's decision-makers. Nor is such constraining behavior a unique characteristic of economic institutions. Instead, it can be found in the behavior of all of a society's major institutions
where leaders must make choices among various hierarchies of conflicting goals so as to maximize achievable social good while at the same time ensuring the survival and growth of the institution and preserving its core values. (Sethi & Sama, 1998).
"The True Measure of a Business Success is found in What is Done when no One Is Looking"
The researcher agrees with the statement; "The True Measure of a Business Success is Found in What is Done when no One Is Looking." Many companies when they know they are under a microscope put on a different face for the public; but behind closed doors they pull off all of the masks and become their true self. Many companies have two sides to them; the side they portray when the public is looking and their true side that is seen by their employees. The Researcher believes it is easier to practice good business principles no matter who is watching. If a company maintains good business practice they will attract the best employees and have minimal turnover by employees.
Dealing with people honestly and fairly is only part of business integrity. It's just as important not to oversell your capabilities or overpromise your reliability. Business ethics is
Your business integrity. Having integrity - a solid reputation for delivering capability, reliability and value - costs nothing and truly adds value. Begin to cut corners, overpromise or underperform and your reputation - integrity - begin to work against you. (Bigelow, 2005)
Over the past several years many companies have applied good business ethics to building their businesses. Some companies thrived in an otherwise difficult marketplace by focusing on providing cutting-edge capability and reliably delivering exceptional quality on-time. And they've done so the old fashioned way - by doing what they said they would do, not by overpromising. Those companies have earned reputations based on their integrity - their business ethics - and are now realizing the value of how they conduct business. (Bigelow, 2005)