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Furthering Ethical Behaviour in the Organisation

2708 words (11 pages) Essay in Organisations

08/02/20 Organisations Reference this

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This essay will discuss the main measures an organization operating in New Zealand should take to ensure that an ethical approach is maintained in all areas by both the organization and its employees. Ethics is a broad subject and our inner knowledge of what is right and wrong can often be considered. The first area of discussion will be the purpose and role of codified law, and how this works in the definition of ethical behavior alongside free choice. Following this, the organization will examine what types of internal policies should be developed to encourage ethical behavior, with note of any additional ramifications that may arise if the organization is involved in offshore activities. This area will also include the company’s approach to protected disclosures. And finally, there will be comment on the ethical issues facing a Maori business, which may be different from those faced by other organisations.

 Codified law, which incorporates values and standards into the legal systems. McKenna. (n.d) states that they are rules and regulations that were collected, restated and written down to provide a society with civil order. These must be followed to avoid problems with the legal system. In New Zealand, laws which would have to be observed by most organisations are those such as keeping up with minimum wage rates, correct payment of taxes, ensuring a healthy and safe work environment, observation of public holidays (and correct payment to staff), rate payments, legal employment agreements, and many more.

We then have a free choice domain that is the opposite of codified law. As defined by Business Directory (n.d.) as “the right to exercise one’s freedom in any manner that one may choose except where such act may obstruct or prevent others from exercising their freedoms, endanger themselves or others, or exceed a statutory limit.” It concerns behaviour about which law has no say and for which an individual or organization enjoys complete liberty. Khan, T.(n.d.) notes that obedience is strictly to oneself and the choices of religion made by individuals or the number of dishwashers to be produced are examples of free choice. Where there is no law and there is complete freedom for the individual or company.

In addition, (Khan,T.(n.d.) Ethical behaviour lies between codified law domains and free choice. There are no specific laws in this domain. Ethics has standards of conduct that guide an individual or company based on shared principles and values of moral conduct. Obedience is to unenforceable norms and standards that are known to the individual or company as ethical standards are not often codified and disagreements and dilemmas about good behaviour. An ethical dilemma arises when, due to potentially negative ethical consequences, every choice or behaviour is undesirable. It is not possible to identify right or wrong clearly. The individual who in an organization must make an ethical choice is the moral agent.

Moreover, with regard to Your business and the law (n.d, p.2) Operating a business is a challenging undertaking: as businesses need to satisfy customers there, manage staff, pay bills, collect debts and ultimately make profit. Therefore, they need to comply with a wide range of business laws and regulations. Therefore, to set up a business, it is important to know about the Companies Act 1993 to decide how to structure business ownership. It establishes the legal rules covering the negotiation and enforcement of employment agreements as well as the processes required to resolve employment disputes. The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 also has a significant impact on employers. It is designed to promote the prevention of harm to all persons at work. It is also important for employers to know about Minimum Wage Act 1983, Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, Holidays Act 2003, Immigration Act 1987, Wages Protection Act 1983 and KiwiSaver Act 2006.

According to Samson etal (2016, pp179-181), ethics is defined as’ the code of moral principles and values that governs a person’s or group’s behaviours regarding what is right or wrong. Ethics sets standards regarding what is good or bad in conduct and decision-making.’ Moreover, it is important to encourage ethical behaviour at work as it helps build a strong team and increase productivity. It helps an organization to maintain a reputation for strong values that directly align with its mission. Businesses with strong ethical cultures have shown reduced misconduct among employees.

To achieve ethical behaviour Solutions. (31 Aug.2018) it is important to develop internal compliances, which is a set-off documented guidelines that set standards in areas such as proper procedure and employee behaviour. Therefore, it is important to establish company behavioural policies as it is the most effective means of establishing proper ethics and behaviour in the workplace by specifying what is acceptable. Set clear expectations where the Code of Conduct of the organization should define the expectations in clear and simple language for the behaviour of employees. This should include how employees interact with each other, customers, and what is acceptable behaviour in the workplace and is not considered acceptable. Define the consequences of unethical behaviour that states that employees who violate the rules of ethics established in the company must face consequences for their actions. In addition, holding workshops can provide training and provide regular training on how to solve ethical problems. Finally, Reward good behaviours such as when an employee goes beyond and beyond putting aside his or her personal interests to always do what’s best for the client, should be actively rewarded and retained as an example to others.

Offshoring has become one of the global economy’s most striking features. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (n.d.) notes that offshore manufacturing can lower production costs, help bring your product to market faster and cost of delivery. It makes sense for most businesses to produce overseas to reduce the cost of components while maintaining research and development in New Zealand, as well as design and short-run manufacturing. There are consequences of offshoring as well as James G (June 28,2011) notes that you may lose control over your intellectual property because there is no respect for corporate secrets. Patents are often unenforceable, and many companies find copycat processes and products popping up soon after they have been deployed there. It can lead to low-quality, brand-damaging products. Many companies that provide outsourcing rapidly reduce the quality of component parts to increase their margins. It also supports slave labour and child labour, which involve a long supply chain that may well include companies with labour practices that, if advertised, could destroy the reputation of the company.

An organization operating overseas would benefit from a policy of cross-cultural acceptance. In shaping ethical behaviour, Donaldson (1996, para.16) felt that companies should be guided by the principles of respect for core human values, respect for local traditions, and considering the context of a situation when deciding right from wrong. It would be helpful to produce an effective policy in this area to have some training on different cultural beliefs and moral systems within which the organization works.

The Protected Disclosures Act of 2000 (PDA 2000), which entered into force on 1 January 2001. PDA 2000 aims at facilitating the disclosure of serious wrongdoing in public and private sector organizations and protecting employees making such disclosures. PDA’s aim is to provide whistleblowers with protection and facilitate disclosure and investigation.

According to the policy statement, Meridian Energy (2016) aims to identify what is classified as wrongdoing and who to report to in the event of any such wrongdoing being witnessed or becoming aware of. They also mention the need to make anyone who raises concerns feel confident about the process as well as about self-protection. An organization, like Meridian Energy, should outline specific actions that would be classified as wrongdoing. Who should be reported to such things should then be made clear. Then there should be a sketch of how the organization will protect the whistle-blower from retaliation.

Neil Pugmire, a psychiatric nurse at Lake Alice Hospital, who blew the whistle on the quality of patient care in the 1990s, is arguably the most famous case of whistle-blowing in New Zealand. A recent whistleblowing account took place in New Zealand on August 3, 2006. An anonymous whistle-blower who claimed to work for a government organization blew the whistle by disclosing that ‘‘the New Zealand Defence Force breached guidelines issued by the Government Communications Security Bureau by choosing photocopiers from office equipment maker Fuji Xerox over rivals that were more secure and, in at least one case, cheaper’’ (Pullar-Strecker, 2006). The whistle-blower went on to state that preferential treatment was given to Fuji Xerox during the tender (Pullar-Strecker, 2006).

Furthermore, companies must ensure that their employees are aware of this policy through training and support. It is important to provide training to all employees on how disclosures should be raised and how they will be handled and to provide managers with training on how to handle disclosures.

Organizations should create an organizational culture where workers feel safe to make a disclosure in the knowledge that they will not face any harm from the organization because of speaking up. In addition, the company should keep evidence on hand in cases where employees may raise false accusations. To avoid these issues affecting its public image, the company should always act professionally and deal confidently.

It can be seen that a Maori business has a different ethical approach. Although they still must follow the land’s laws, they are guided by moral principles passed down from their ancestors. Harmsworth (2005, p. 14) puts it this way: “Maori values are largely based on traditional concepts, beliefs and values and shape many Maori’s thinking.” He then goes on to say that Tikanga refers to the rules and values of Maori to shape their behaviour. Harmsworth emphasizes values such as Whakapono–moral behaviours of trust, honesty and integrity, Whakakotahitanga–including others in decision making and respect for individual differences, and Kaitiakitanga –defined as’ environmental care.'” Wakatu (n.d.) describes it in their definition of Kaitiakitanga as being “collectively responsible for protecting and enhancing our precious natural resources which are our life force. They were entrusted to us by our ancestors and will be passed on to future generations. ” This shows the reluctance for monetary gain to exploit the environment, as it is more important for the Maori to be able to preserve and pass it on. Wakatu (n.d.) also refers to Pono in its identity and values. This shows that all companies (both Maori and non-Maori) should seek to portray and fulfil an element of reliability and trustworthiness.

Wakatu describes themselves as an “unashamedly Maori business” (Harmsworth, 2005, p. 31) and believes that they are distinguished from non-Maori by a “strong sense of cultural identity” which is admirable and should be encouraged across the board with Maori organizations.

To sum up, making sure your organization maintains an ethical approach is not just a matter of sitting back and assuming it will happen on its own. Asgary et al (2014, p. 89) acknowledge that an ethical approach that appeals to stakeholders is what is needed within an organization. This means not only having an ethical framework that fits your own values (like Maori after tikanga) but also being sensitive to the values of people in any other environment the organization can work in. This means not only having an ethical framework that fits your own values (such as Maori after tikanga) but also being sensitive to the values of people in any other environment the organization can work in. To this end, Asgery et al (2014, p. 97) recommend the establishment of an ethical framework for those involved. “need to work closely with those involved in the operational and practitioner spheres to ensure that the ethical models used are appropriate.” This would not only ensure the ethical approach to the situation in question, but also have a springing effect. This, coupled with regular training and review of ethical behaviours and approaches, would help organizations achieve their goals of being known and established as an ethical organization, which would in turn attract more customers to their business as others become more aware of the need for good ethics. It is also important to promote open communication. McLaverty & McKee (2016, para.13) found that their own personal network is the most useful resource available to leaders in the face of an ethical dilemma, according to studies.” It is also important to promote open communication. According to studies, McLaverty & McKee (2016, para.13) found that their own personal network is “the most useful resource that leaders have in the face of an ethical dilemma.” They continue to say that this encourages options that the leader may not have come up with and that “your way is not the only way.”

It is likely that the whole area of ethics could constantly change and evolve, and it would be in any organization’s best interests not to shy away from scrutinizing where they are in their own ethical position. Change is inevitable, and ethical business practice is no exception.

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