Organizational, Ethical, and Legal Issues


Organisations have ethical and legal issues that determine their productivity as well as creating a good working environment for its workers. There are a number of ethical principles that can be used by an organization to address some of the issues it faces. These are human ethical conducts and behaviours that an organization or individuals in an organization uphold. They include the principle of the common good, the principle of formal and material cooperation, the principle of Subsidiarity, and the principle of tolerance, the principle of respects for persons among others (Boylan, 2009). This paper seeks to identify and discusses the different ways that organizational issues can be solved by promoting and upholding the key ethical principles.

Defining organizational issues

Organisational issues are influenced by the behaviour of people who are part of an organization. These vary from one organization to the other for different groups of people derive different meanings from different actions. Organizational issues revolve around values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols belief and habits (Trevino & Nelson, 2007). These factors affect the way people interact with each other as well as with clients in an organization (Boylan, 2009). Some the behaviours in an organization can have positive impacts on performance. However, there are also other ethical issues that can be counterproductive and influence negative impacts on the organization’s performance.

Important organizational ethics

In an organization, it is important to have a standard code of conduct that is realistic and beneficial. Upholding ethics ensure the mutual understanding between employees as well as with the clients hence ensuring better working conditions. For an organization to perform effectively, the working environment must be conducive to the employees. Some of the ethical principles that can be used to achieve that kind of a working environment include the ones mentioned earlier in this paper. First is the principle of the common good, which states that all individuals must act in a manner that promotes the welfare of everyone around them. This principle promotes respect for everyone regardless of the social class and authority.

In line with organizational goals and visions, the principle of formal and material cooperation should be upheld. This principle requires employees to cooperate with each other working as a team in order to achieve the set goals. The principle of subsidiarity on the other hand requires those in positions of leadership to recognize their subjects and respect their rights to get involved in decision making processes. Another principle that can be used in addressing organizational issue is the principle of tolerance. Every organization has different types of people who have different beliefs and values. Tolerance helps people with different points of view to come to reach an agreement. Lastly, the principle of respect for persons is very important as it states that every human being is to be free and responsible hence they should be treated with respect (Trevino & Nelson, 2007).

The impact of external pressure on organizational ethics

Social pressure can adversely influence organizational ethics in many ways. It arises when a group of people especially human rights activists or the surrounding communities has a bone of contention with the operations of the organization. Social pressure always focuses on turning 0rchanging an organization to conform to the values and behaviours that promote the good of the society. When organizations are under pressure to operate in conformity with the societal best interest, the ultimate beneficiary is the society. Therefore, Social pressure can change very noble ideas into useless suggestion if the ideas do not conform to the great god of the society. It forces an organization to take actions that it would have not taken into consideration in a normal situation (Trevino & Nelson, 2007).

How organizational issues affect organizations and individual decisions

The organizational issues that influence decision making include policies and procedures, organizational hierarchy, and organizational politics. Issues with the members of the staff are resolved easily when an organization has policies in place guiding the management on the actions to take in case of a dispute (Boylan, 2009). The management structure which is the organizational hierarchy stipulates the different levels of authority a factor that determines the nature of a decision that one can make. Lastly, the organizational politics are behaviours that influence others. For instance, a team in the organization can use their influence to cause the management to allocate a new employee in their team. Political behaviours are displayed in many other avenues in an organization, especially when an individual with influential characteristics want to advance their careers, increase their rewards, and advance their interests and ideas.

The relationship between legal and ethical issues

Legal issues just like ethical issues have a great impact on an organization. The only difference between the two is that legal issues are raised by the government and are based on legal regulations while ethical issues are morally based. However, they both have similar effects on an organization. Legal issues require an organization to abide to the rules and regulations set by the federal government. Some of the regulatory policies hamper the productivity of an organization and just like the ethical issues; they limit its performance and expansion.


Boylan, M. (2009). Basic ethics: Basic ethics in action (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Trevino, L. K. & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.