Ethical Decision Making by Individuals in Organizations

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1571 Words
Date:  2021-05-27

Appendix A: The Ethical Leadership Debate

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One thing came out apparently in the course of the debate: two characters supported the motion while the other two opposed the motion, This Business School believes that ethical leadership is impossible in a shareholder focused economy. As stipulated in shareholders theory, managers have one critical role which is pegged in serving shareholders interest of maximizing profitability (Crane, & Matten, 2010. All the identified characters presented their views from the consequentialist perspective. This point of view concludes something is right or wrong depending on the effects of the results of course of action taken (Crane, & Matten, 2010). In this case, both Mike and Jan strongly came out as utilitarian as opposed to Mei-Hua and Desh whose emphasis was visible in egoism. In as much as these characters views on moral position seemed to concur notwithstanding utilitarian or egoism, some conflict was explicit concerning agreeing or disagreeing with the motion. Jan, for example, disputed the assertion that you cannot be ethical in a shareholder focused economy and accepted the fact that the reverse is true. On the contrary, Mike who shares the position with Jan on utilitarian proposed the motion citing that graduates were not profit oriented because if that were the case, no companies would take part in corporate social responsibility. However, the four characters supported each other unison that the upright position assumed was of paramount importance as opposed to the individual opinion, despite their differences.

Although Jan and Mike had held divergent views at the start of the debate, the next join hands which made utilitarian stance the most outstanding. The extreme viewpoint that vividly came out in the course of the opposition Jan and Mike posed to Desh was the affirmation that Jan gave of his grandparents who are beneficiaries of moral acts demonstrated through their succession of her company. On the other and, Desh held is the position that egoist was clear in his mind as either black or white and that he was determined to achieve his short and long terms goals without paying attention to ethical behaviour.

With a sharp analysis to Crane and Mattens (2010) psychological factors with respect to Kohlbergs (1969) process of cognitive moral development, we can comprehensively conclude that Jan and Mike acted in the post-conventional level while basing their choices on moral decisions as per the societys benefits and values. Nevertheless, it is important to say that they showed a difference in their developmental stages. Jan would be said to be in stage six which states that ethical principles are uniform while Mike appeared to be in stage five of fundamental rights and societal values informed his decisions. On the same note, both Desh and Mei-Hua can be categorised on the pre-conventional stage which emphasizes reward, punishment and sole benefit as opposed to the collective gain. At this point, we can classify Desh at stage one which lays importance on obedience and punishment, most probably because of his age and well-endowed upbringing. Mei-Hua, on the contrary, can be categorized at stage two which focuses on self and immediate gains. Her choice could be attributed to her profession: Accounting where financial gain is the most important thing. On aggregate, egoism and the pre-conventional level appear to be congruent, same as utilitarian and post-conventional stage of moral development.

To sum it up, it remains a topic of discussion if culture, age and experience could have had a hand in the characters ethical position. Results of person opinion taken at the end of the debate revealed that two individuals supported the motion; thirteen opposed it while six were indifferent. Although we had many things in common like age, culture and similar opinion, it is evident that politics and personal experiences influenced our decisions to a great extent.

Appendix B: The Seminar Case

Five characters exhibited ethical dilemmas during the debate. For instance, the customer was torn between changing the date of the planned launch and maintaining the same time. Depending on the outcome, Borries manager would have instructed Borries to cancel his holiday and report to work, leave the decision at Borries discretion or find someone to stand in for Borries. Turning out focus to Borries, he had two options: cancel his holiday or proceed to his holiday. On the other hand, Borries girlfriends (Swee Lan) decision relied heavily on what decision Borries would make. However, she had the option of accepting or rejecting whatever decision Borries would arrive at. We also find a dilemma in which Borries colleagues at work are not sure whether to support Borries decision or air out their opinions against what Borries chose to do.

Looking at the situation keenly, the dilemma of every other person revolves around Borries decision because it impacts how the affected parties will react. From the illustration in seminar one, it is apparent that Borries decision was tied to other undisclosed factors in the case like the seriousness of his relationship with Swee Lan, the importance of the client to Borries company and the availability of Borries replacement for the time of his holiday. As per the information presented in the case study, we can infer that Borries is a utilitarian because he chose to discuss his predicament with his girlfriend and manager prior to making up his mind. Just a move eliminates the thought of him being egoistic. However, his character is disqualified from being a utilitarian in seminar five since he did not consider how his decision would affect all the parties. He, therefore, qualifies to be a Kantian since he chose to consult his girlfriend. His cancelling of his holiday at the expense of his relationship reveals his attachment to his job and the company and lack of care for the outcome of his actions. Notwithstanding, we get back to our initial conclusion that Borries is a utilitarian because he pays less attention if any of the effects of his action.

According to Crane & Matten (2010), utilitarian makes a decision that would bring the best to the vast majority in the light of moral intensity. As such, Borries should have should have factored in the effects of his decision on the few individuals though they were not beneficiaries of his decision. If Borries felt that his decision was not self-centered and would benefit most of the people, we would qualify to be a utilitarian. He should also have considered the how close the relationships with the affected people were (Jones, 1991). I completely agree with the fact that Borries was a utilitarian since he gave attention to all who were affected by his decision. However, we cannot compressively conclude that he was a utilitarian because the case study did not disclose the reactions of the people involved, for example, Swees parents, the customer and the manager. As such, utilitarian remains a mere assumption.

In summary, someones decision is dependent on their ethical beliefs and those of the recipients of their actions. As such, Borries colleagues would have supported Borries decision if they were egoistic since they would also prioritize what is important to them. We, therefore, conclude that they were utilitarian too as they needed Borries to think about them before making a decision. In light of this discussion, I remained inclined to what Borries did because it concurs with the level four of cognitive moral development (Kohlberg, 1969).

Appendix C: Interpersonal and Team-working Skills

The number of group members increased by two, making it six in seminar two from a different course. At first, we thought it as demerit since the group had already bonded and completed the assignment from the first seminar, but it turned out to be advantageous since we got a new perspective of approaching successive tasks at a personal level.

We unanimously consented to team meetings in the next week towards the end of the end of every seminar, a decision that was arrived at looking at each others schedules as utilitarian requires when making a decision. The decision for one on one meeting appealed to everyone because it presented a gain to all of us, particularly in ethics classes due to the divergent opinions in which debates are likely to arise. The group members showed for all meetings meant to do the assignments before seminars. The fact that we had successfully attended our industrial attachments made it even more benevolent for each of us since we could respect everyones opinion in as much there were disagreements. This made us more utilitarian. The similarities that members had in term of age and culture bonded us together and cemented our similar framework and cohesion and agreeability before the seminars. What I learned during class discussions is that individual ethical frameworks are likely to yield diverse views and remedies to a lot of ethical dilemmas. Furthermore, we established that differences are liable to emerge no matter how similar people may be concerning ethical frameworks. Such differences arise from external forces like political and social views and ethics. However, such differing opinions can be harmonized with discussions and persuasion such as during a debate where members can converge at a single point. The agreeability is shaped by sharing information, particularly when people differ.

Word count: 1533


Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2010). Business Ethics. Third Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jones, T. M. (1991). Ethical decision making by individuals in organizations: An issue-contingent model. Academy of management review, 16(2), 366-395.Kohlberg, L. (1969). Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization. publisher not identified.

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