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Corporate Values, Workplace Decisions,

Pages: 3

Words: 747

Essay

Managers set the tone for ethical behavior in public administration and organizations. In order for a manager in any organization to conduct themselves in an ethical manner, he or she must first remain cognizant of his or her own ethical standards and attitudes. They discern on a case-by-case basis on a day-to-day basis what actions are necessary for an organization to function properly and in an ethical manner. I consider myself to be an ethical person, although the subject of ethics is a murky one and is nonetheless predicated on what drives people to act in a certain manner. My decision-making is driven by the desire to be good and the desire to contribute to promoting and enhancing the public good. Intentions and behavior play a large role in determining one’s ethical currency, and decisions and actions that impact others in a positive or negative way figure prominently in my view of ethical behavior. As such, while sexual affairs and acts that occur behind closed doors and do not affect the public at large are not a part of my ethical worldview. I also believe that in certain circumstances there is virtue in lying, meaning that dishonesty is not always necessarily unethical. Unlike the commonly held perception that there is a distinct line between honesty and dishonestly, I do not ascribe to such reductive thinking. As long as the greatest good is enhanced and the best possible result is yielded while harm and injury are mitigated, an act is considered ethical even if it involves manipulation or some coercion. While such an eapproach to ethics may be criticized on the premise that it renders an unethical answer when assessing and evaluating actions, I nonetheless remained steadfastly tethered to the value of conrtibuting to the greater good to the greatest amount of people.

I am fully embrace a utilitarian approach to management in order to ensure effective and ethical decision-making, and applying such an approach to management to the criminal justice system better elucidates its core tenets. This system is based on “the fundamental rule of morality,” meaning that the system must promote the well-being and “greatest good” for as many people as possible (Braswell et al., 1991, p. 34). The morality of one’s action depends on the consequences of it, as all human acts are done to achieve a certain result. This teleological view of human action thus implies that moral acts always produce benevolent or good consequences, which often translates into happiness or pleasure (Gold, 1991, p. 13). The utilitarian manager therefore contends that “an action ought to be done if and only if that action maximizes the total amount of pleasure (or minimizes the total amount of pain of all parties affected by the action” (p. 15). A police force in the criminal justice system is needed to govern a utilitarian ethical system as a mechanism to mitigate crime and thus the overall pain people suffer as a result of ubiquitous crime. Such an ethical system, however, decries the policing of certain acts that do not affect the common good, such as speeding, that merely affects an individual and not the common good (p. 15). As such, utilitarian ethics eschews such an approach to criminal justice and law enforcement. Ultimately, as utilitarian manager, I believe that anything that results in best overall result materializing is inherently correct and ethical from a management point of view.

As a utilitarian manager, I consider all possible choices for engaging in a certain action in light of the results it would yield versus others. I look at whether the choice or option is in line with a principle that maximizes overall pragmatism and utility. In doing so, I weigh the potential risk of injury or damage against the probable financial profit that may be gained from an event or act. While such an approach runs the risk of muting or ignoring the minority interests or opinions, I nonetheless believe that a utilitarian approach to management is the most ethical way to run an organization and ensure that workers act in an ethical manner as well.

References

Braswell, M., McCarthy, B. R., & McCarthy, B. J. (1991). Justice, crime, and ethics. Cincinnati, Ohio: Anderson Pub. Co.

Ghosh, D. (2008). Corporate values, workplace decisions, and ethical standards of employees. Journal of Managerial Issues, 27(1), 68-87.

Gold, J. (n.d.). Utilitarian and deontological approaches to criminal justice ethics. Naratoma. Retrieved July 26, 2015 from http://ebooks.narotama.ac.id/files/Justice,%20Crime,%20and%20Ethics%20(6th%20Edition)/Chapter%202%20Utilitarian%20and%20D

Lewis, C. (1991). The ethics challenge in public service: A problem-solving guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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