Ethics and Workers’ Participation

Being a leader means taking a variety of responsibilities that go beyond planning and require not only impressive communication and organization skills, but also the ability to alter the very fabric of the company’s structure (Collins, 1997). Particularly, it is the leader’s duty to enhance the principles of ethics within a specific organization, therefore, bringing changes to the principles that the staff members are guided by when making company-related decisions (Raelin, 2003). Although the significance of complying with the foundational concepts of ethics may be toned down in the contemporary realm of global economy, with stiff competition and the need to retain the customers at any cost, the leader of an organization must not forget about building an ethical model for the staff to follow in the course of the decision-making process (Reynolds, 1999). Thus, a variety of ethical bias can be avoided. Moreover, with the adoption of a rigid set of ethical standards by the company’s leader and, eventually, its employees, an organization is likely to become an increasingly successful entrepreneurship (Grey & Garsten, 2001). The principles of decision-making within an organization must be based on a specific ethical platform, which a leader must provide; otherwise, the company is unlikely to make sound choices and, therefore, may face the threat of losing its target audience (Lawler, 1990).

Since the staff members may have their own concept of ethics and ethical behavior, it is the duty and prime responsibility of the firm’s leader to establish a strong influence on the employees and promote the required model of ethical behavior as the foundational ideas that the staff members should be guided when making a work-related choice. The significance of the behavioral patterns, which the company’s leader chooses to promote as the basis for the organization’s ethical framework, affects both the choices that the staff is going to make in terms of the organization’s operations, and the image that the staff members have of themselves: “the more a manager values self-transcendence, the more likely he or she is to make the collective self more salient and the independent self less salient” (Sosik, Jung, & Dinger, 2009, p. 421). Therefore, apart from increasing the organization’s performance through the introduction of a set of strong ethical principles that are not to be ignored, a company’s leader will affect the staff’s job-related qualities, shaping their concept of professional ethics and creating the exemplary model for behavior, which the employees will follow in their future decision-making.

New chances for measuring the performance of the company’s managers are another reason for the leader to serve as the ethical conscience of the firm. Studies show that the introduction of ethical principles, according to which an organization should operate, along with the promotion of a specific behavioral model by the company’s leader, contribute to the enhancement of the managers’ ability to address complex ethical dilemmas (Brenkert, 1992).

When introduced as a well-structured framework and, in the best case scenario, a model, according to which the company’s managers should operate, the specified approach is likely to affect the staff’s overall performance and increase the venture’s profitability significantly. Particularly, the person-situation interactionist model should be suggested as the tool of altering people’s organizational behavior and changing the firm’s ethical framework, as it “offers insight into how managers think about ethical dilemmas and provides a way to hypothize real world decision-making phenomena” (Trevino, 1996, p. 615), as Trevino’s study confirms.

According to the responses, which the colleagues provided as they filled out the questionnaire, the workplace environment in question can be described as rather relaxed and does not induce stress in any way. However, the specified characteristics thereof also has a side effect, which manifests itself in the staff members becoming less prone to the influence of the business ethics concepts that are promoted in the company. Additionally, the employees have shown a significant involvement in decision-making, which shows that, unless the corporate ethics is reinforced in the specified environment, some of the choices made in the organization may go against the ethical principles that it is based on. In fact, the work quality rates within the company have dropped a little over the past few years. On the one hand, the specified characteristics of the company’s progress can be attributed to the fact that the firm has recently entered the global environment and, therefore, is facing significant challenges in adapting to the new and more demanding requirements. On the other hand, the above-mentioned issue points to the fact that the organization clearly needs a set of more efficient ethical principles, which will enhance the staff’s performance by giving them the motivation to excel in their professional skills (Raelin, 2010).

The list of participate values provided in the survey is rather detailed and all-embracive. It helps locate problems in the current leadership strategy design and provides premises for developing creating solutions for managing the organizational issues within an organization. It could be argued, though, that the list could be expanded by adding the values such as the willingness to share information with the rest of the staff members as well as the overall enthusiasm in designing new ways of facilitating data security.

In order to transform an organization to become a more participative one, a leader must consider using the tools that will help enhance the communication process among the staff members, as well as convince the latter that they are valued members of the team and, therefore, their opinion is appreciated. The company under analysis has not been participative enough since the organization members did not have a specific set of ethical principle and values to uphold. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the firm should create new ethical standards or, at the very least, revise the old ones so that the employees could have a strong basis for building their decision-making strategies on.

As far as the very concept of the corporate ethical behavior is concerned, it is reasonable to state that the subject matter concerns both the staff’s state of moral development and the corporate ethics to an equally high degree. Indeed, the specified concept is dependent on the variables such as the state of cognitive moral development, which is unique for every staff member; however, the phenomenon in question is also affected significantly by the organizational culture accepted in the workplace (Trevino, 1986). Therefore, both factors have a tangible effect on the evolution of the corporate ethical behavior standards.

Promoting ethical standards in an organization is a crucial step towards updating the quality of its products. However, it is the consistent analysis and improvement of the corporate ethical values that define the further evolution of the firm. As long as the key values promote efficacy and initiative, they can be considered a solid foundation for the corporation’s development.

Reference List

Brenkert, G. G. (1992). Freedom, participation and corporations: the issue of corporate (economic) democracy. Business Ethics Quarterly, 2(3), 251-269.

Collins, D. (1997). The ethical superiority and inevitability of participatory management as an organizational system. Organizational Science, 8(5), 489-507.

Grey, C. & Garsten, C. (2001). Trust, control and post-bureaucracy. Organization Studies, 22(2), 229-250.

Lawler, III, E. E. (1990). High-involvement management: participative strategies for improving organizational performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Raelin, J. A. (2003). Compassionate leadership. In Creating leaderful organizations: How to bring out leadership in everyone (pp. 217-240). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Raelin, J. A. (2010). The leaderful fieldbook: strategies and activities for developing leadership in everyone. London: Nicholas Brealey.

Reynolds, M. (1999). Grasping the nettle: possibilities and pitfalls of a critical management pedagogy. British Journal of Management, 10(2), 171-184.

Sosik, J. J., Jung, D., & Dinger, S. L. (2009). Values in authentic action: examining the roots and rewards of altruistic leadership. Group and Organization Management, 34(4),.395-431.

Trevino, L. K. (1986). Ethical decision making in organizations: a person-situation interactionist model. The Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601-617.

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