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Ethics in Organizations Working in Teams

Ethics in Organizations Working in Teams

What do you see are Brenda’s complaints as regards ethics?

According to the information from the case study, Brenda is unhappy because her immediate supervisor is openly discriminating against her when considering applicants for a promotion at her workplace. Mike, Brenda’s supervisor, is practicing gender discrimination by citing that she is unfit to manage workers in the factory because she is a woman and would be incapable of handling her duties well as she also has maternal responsibilities. According to labor laws, discriminating against an employee because of their gender is unethical, even if the individual breaking this professional code of ethics has substantial reasons to do so (Shaw, 2017). Therefore, Brenda is justified to feel her immediate supervisor is unethical for blatantly refusing to place her name for promotion, yet she is as qualified as the other applicants because she is female.

How might XYZ develop a more inclusive environment?

Brenda works in XYZ Corporation, where inclusivity is undermined by management. Inclusivity is essential as it enables employees to feel they belong to a community that cares for their needs. Employees are also able to express their concerns and ideas more openly in companies that practice inclusivity, as well as explore their creativity without fear of retaliation (Shaw, 2017). Brenda’s employers should have a policy that requires its human resources department to hire job applicants from all genders, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, cultural practices, and political affiliations. The workplace environment should be inclusive of employees of these backgrounds and must be well-represented in all positions available. This way, XYZ Company will foster inclusivity in its environment and eliminate ethical concerns, such as those raised by Brenda.

How might Mike learn to cultivate an organizational culture that is genuinely open to new ideas?

Mike should be retrained on how to be ethical in the workplace. He should cease being egoistic and pursuing interests that only make him happy at the expense of other employees. Additionally, Mike should learn that when making decisions, he should consider input from other employees to foster a culture of open and honest communication (Shaw, 2017). The manager should learn that engaging in unethical actions that hurt other employees is disregarding their consequences, which is wrong. Overall, Mike should learn to embody utilitarianism, where actions are considered ethical if they benefit everyone.

References

Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business ethics (11th ed.). Cengage Learning.

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Question 


Many businesses today are confronted with the challenges involved in solving problems that pose roadblocks to the progress of the business. More and more managers are relying on bringing talented employees together in a team format with the challenge of solving business issues. Why? Managers know the use of different perspectives brings about creative solutions. Managers also know what one team member misses will be seen or perceived by another team member.

Ethics in Organizations Working in Teams

Ethics in Organizations Working in Teams

Questions might arise when team members of different genders, ages, and cultures come together to solve problems; often trust is an issue when an unknown team member is of a different culture. Remembering business employees are no longer made up of “cookie cutter” citizens can be difficult for many unwilling to keep an open mind to possibilities from others of great contributions and solid thinking.

Consider the following situation from the Ethics Education Library:

Brenda Jones had an extremely hard time finding a position after graduation in her field of chemistry and chemical engineering. Starting out at XYZ company as a chemical laboratory technician, Brenda was quickly promoted to a chemist’s position, as Brenda’s supervisors recognized her skills. Brenda has served well as a valuable member of a team that has discovered and implemented new processes in the carbonated drinks field. Brenda has noted there is now a process chemist position open and wants to move to the advanced position. However, Mike, one of her supervisors, is refusing to place her name in an application for the process chemist position. When she asks Mike why, he tells her that the atmosphere of working in a factory would be too demanding for her as a woman.

What frustrated and angered Brenda at her meeting with Mike was his flat refusal to place her name in an application for the process chemist position. “Brenda,” he said, “you would find the atmosphere in a factory too demanding for you as a woman. That’s a very high-pressure job. What would you do if your kids got sick again? The factory has got to run and they wouldn’t wait for you while you stayed home to play nursemaid!”

This was not the first time Mike had indicated doubts about what she could handle. Shortly after her transfer into the technical service department, Mike told Brenda that, as the only woman in the department, she would not be invited to the department’s annual off-site planning and recreational meeting. “You’d be the only woman there and I think you’d be very uncomfortable,” he said, adding that “besides, the language in the discussions sometimes gets a little rough and we wouldn’t want to subject you to that. OK?” Although too stunned to do anything but nod her assent, Brenda was very upset at Mike’s attitude, which she considered to be quite unprofessional and chauvinistic.

Even more upsetting to Brenda was Mike’s first performance appraisal of her work. During her first year in the department, Brenda had to take several consecutive days off when one of her children became seriously ill. She had done her best not to let her work assignments fall behind and had worked many extra hours after her child’s health was restored. However, during her annual appraisal, Mike criticized her severely because of her “poor attendance record.”

When she first considered whether to transfer into the technical service department, Brenda was warned by some of her co-workers that Mike Richards did not particularly like to have women working for him. But she decided to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. She was now convinced that her co-workers were right, but she was also faced with the question of what to do. She could take a grievance to XYZ’s human resource manager. But he was also male and had a reputation for giving women who complained to him a hard time. Brenda might ask for a lateral transfer to another department in the research laboratories. She might try to stick it out and make the best of a frustrating situation while keeping her eyes open for opportunities with another company. Or perhaps she could confide in someone she trusts and ask for advice.

What advice might such a person give Brenda? What ethical questions does this case raise? (Harris, Pritchard, & Rabins, 2000).

For this discussion, consider the following:

What do you see are Brenda’s complaints as regards ethics?
How might XYZ develop a more inclusive environment?
How might Mike learn to cultivate an organizational culture that is genuinely open to new ideas?
Tip: Format your discussion using the questions above to create appropriate headings.

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