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Ethical Principles in Operations Management, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1278

Essay

Introduction

Ethical principles are not only a part of an organization’s corporate responsibility policies. They should be implemented on every level of the management, in order to make the system fairer for all stakeholders. Protecting customers’ data, creating systems that allow them to make informed decisions is only one of the principles that should be implemented by the organization. The below paper will go through the connection between a manager’s personal ethical standards’ implementation methods into organizations.

Fundamental Ethical And Faith Based Foundational Principles 

One of the ethical principles I follow is based on a Christian faith’s teachings. From my childhood, I have tried to follow the principle taught by Jesus Christ mentioned in Matthew 7:12 which reads: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” This principle is also often referred to as the “Golden Rule”.  Applying this ethical foundational principle in business has different implications on systems, equality, employee and customer rights. The principle does not only apply to equality and diversity, but also to the whole system: ensuring that the interest of stakeholders is represented to the maximum in every business decision made within the organization. The below application structure will be implementing the above consideration into management ethical principles.

Application of Principles

In human resources management as well as the rest of the business, there are several principles recommended by Laundon ( et al, 2012) that describes different principles to be applied in selection, all in line with the original ethical considerations detailed in the current paper. Some of the principles include the following;

Utilitarian principle. Doing the most good and least harm for all stakeholders (Laudon, et al 2012). This means that when selecting employees and teams, I, as a manager need to apply fair treatment not only for applicants but also consider the impact of the decision on customers and the rest of the organization.

Rights Principle. Moral rights are important, therefore, the actions of a manager should reflect the respect of their own rights within the organization, as well as the rights of other stakeholders (Laudon, et al, 2012). In my example, it is my right as a manager to change working hours, as long as this complies with workers’ rights to leisure time and work-life balance. In relation to this, I believe that doing to others what I want them to do to me still applies. To note, even though it is my right to do something or to decide on a matter, if such decision will affect a lot more individuals, I should be more careful and considerate of others before I do anything else.

Distributive Justice Principle. In some cases, on the organization level of leadership, one needs to make decisions that unavoidably create negative impact (Laudon, et al, 2012). This principle translates to the fair distribution of benefits and harm within the organization. While this principle is a crucial part of fairness and equality policies within companies, considering the original principle would help making the right decision. Understanding what others need before my own welfare would help well in defining the managerial approach  I would take especially when other individuals are involved.

Ethics of Care Principle. This principle translates to the duty of care for all individuals (stakeholders) within the organization (Laudon, et al, 2012). As I would like to be looked after and cared for, as well as considered when decisions have an impact on my well-being, I will apply the original principle on all leadership decisions.

Virtue Ethics Principle. Showing good example to employers and displaying ethical behavior will teach them culture, benefit the company, and ultimately all stakeholders involved (Laudon, et al, 2012).  Ethical behavior is promoted and praised within my area of business. One particular instance I recall was when my superior directed me to increase the project budget [with no necessary cause]. I knew this would mean stealing and it is both unprofessional and unethical. Relatively, as a response to the matter, I decided not to follow my superior’s command although it seemed gracious to follow such command on my part as I would gain much from it.

Systems. Organizations can be used to influence the fair distribution of money and falsify business information (Laudon, et al, 2012). Technology systems are extremely vulnerable to privacy attacks, as well as unauthorized modification. This may have a negative impact not only on the company  but also its stakeholders. Compromising business information would lead to financial loss of investors, while the exposure of sensitive customer data will lead to the damage of the firm’s of reputation and financial loss of customers. IT technologies provide adequate solutions for eliminating vulnerabilities, and they are applied within my department.

Access to Information. Technologies need to be developed in a manner that they respect customers’ and stakeholders’ rights to access relevant and necessary information (Laudon, et al, 2012). However, the system also needs to have adequate protection built in to prevent unauthorized and unnecessary use of resources and data. In my field of work, the protection of business and customer data has a high priority.

Protection of Personal Data. One of the most advanced methods of modern customer analysis are customer profiling (Laudon, et al, 2012). This has an impact on communication and customers’ experience, however, it may also have a negative impact. Selling customer information for marketing companies or using it for purposes other than what they were collected for does not constitute fair treatment.

Rights to Make a Decision. Stakeholders’ and employees rights to make an informed decision need to be respected and supported by the system (Laudon, et al, 2012). Computer technology makes communication more effective. Providing data and options for stakeholders will result in better relationship and culture. Treating them how one would like to be treated is one of the ethical principles applied here. Asking questions like: “Would I like to know about this if I was a customer?” would help designing an information system that is ethical.

Fair Treatment. Fair information practices involve setting principles for collecting, using and distributing data (Laudon, et al, 2012). Privacy legislation and consumer protection law also needs to be followed when creating the principles.

Reflection: “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

Business decisions are influenced by the leader’s personality traits. This connection has been proven by several authors. Similarly, creating an organizational culture is based on the principles of the leadership. Sullivan (n.d. p.2.) confirms that we are approaching a “Human Age”. This means that the role of leadership in creating an ethical, fair and inclusive corporate culture is stronger than ever. Therefore, it is impossible to separate a manager’s personality traits and ethical principles from decisions made on every level of the business. Motivation may not be achieved if the business operates in a manner that is against the manager’s principles. While business decisions should not be influenced by personal circumstances, interest, the application of ethical principles and the communication of corporate culture is an extremely powerful employee motivation and development tool.

Conclusion

While ethics, legal responsibility and culture are closely related within organizations, the ethical principles above all have an impact on all three measures. Respecting all stakeholders translates to fair treatment, corporate social responsibility, lawful actions and in long term higher reputation, greater respect of customer and increased profits. Therefore, it is important to implement ethical principles within the organization, instead of creating policies and guidelines communicated within mission statements.

References

Laudon, J., Laudon, K., Laudon, K. (2012)  Ethical and social issues in information systems. In:           Management Information Systems. Managing the digital firm. 12th edition.. Prentice Hall.

Sullivan, O. (n.d.) Leadership Traits That Most Impact Success…and the Pitfalls That Lead to Derailment. Business and Talent Aligned. Right Management Group. Retrieved from http://www.right.com/thought-leadership/e-newsletter/leadership-traits-that-most-impact-success.pdf

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