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5. Managerial ethics
Questions for Discussion
Exercise 1. Use your target vocabulary to replace these explanations.
Exercise 2. Complete these sentences using your target vocabulary in the appropriate form.
Tips for Topic Development
Managerial ethics are standards of conduct or moral judgement used by managers of organizations in carrying out their business.
Moral management strives to follow ethical principles and does business within the ideals of fairness, justice, and due process. As a result, moral managers pursue business objectives that involve simultaneously making a profit and engaging in legal and ethical behaviours.
Though there are no hard-and-fast rules for every possible condition and situation, there are a few common sense guidelines that can be helpful in thinking about the ethical implications of managerial decisions and behaviours. They are: obey the law, tell the truth, stick to the golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, do not harm, practice participation not paternalism, always act when you have responsibility.
In contrast to moral management, unethical or immoral management not only lacks ethical principles but is actively opposed to ethical behaviour. It is characterized by exclusive concern for company gains, emphasis on profits and company success at virtually any price. It manifests itself in lack of concern about the desires of others to be treated fairly, it views laws as obstacles to be overcome, and it demonstrates a willingness ‘to cut corners’, (from Bartol Ê. M., Management, p. 134)
Agree or disagree with these statements.
There are many factors that encourage unethical behaviour: environmental competitiveness, low environmental munificence, extreme dependency of one organization on another, pressure for higher performance, poor internal financial performance, labour dissatisfaction and even delegation of authority and encouragement of innovation.
Both profit and not-for-profit organizations may be engaged in unethical behaviours. In not-for-profit organizations unethical behaviour may be manifested in illegal payments to college athletes, and mispresentations of the amount of charitable contributions actually going to those being helped.
Unethical behaviour more often stems from the fact that organizations struggle for financial performance in an environment in which the opportunities for success are limited. For example, executives at the Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, the second-largest U.S. baby food manufacturer, ignored warnings from chemists that the apple concentrate that the company was buying at below-market prices was extensively altered. As a result they sold the completely synthetic juice, which had been labeled “ 100 percent fruit juice”.
Other instances of unethical behaviour include bribes, secretly speeding up the assembly line or releasing unsafe products, planting malicious rumours about rival companies in an effort to discredit and undermine them.
Such schemes when discovered lead to fines, indictments, firing executives.
On the other hand, ethical companies make philanthropic contributions, sponsor clinics for AID victims, establish community involvement teams to demonstrate their commitment to ethical principles. (based on Bartol K.M., Management, p. 136)
Say which of the statements below are true and which are false.