There are several issues that make the conversation an ethical problem. There are employees who are judging their colleague, Stanley, by his dressing. They look at the appearance of his hands and conclude that he might be some low-level employee of The Company working at The Plant or maybe not an employee of The Company at all. Basic human ethics and morals dictate that employees should treat each other equally and should not judge based on physical outlook, race, gender or any other measure. It is not for Stanley and his colleagues to judge their other colleagues based on his strong hands because they assume they are for a person who works at the plant (Berger, 1995). Employees are obligated to treat each other well and not apply any concept of discrimination whatsoever. The behavior in the story depicts those who are full of themselves and with questionable integrity.
The Company should also be called out for tolerating such instances and having employees with such behaviors on their payroll. If I were on the other side of the issue I would not have judged the employee basing on his clothing and outlook. I would have treated him as an equal in a bid to understand his uniqueness. Many people behave in such a way for various reasons, and it only serves justice if they are understood well. I would have defined the problem as a normal occurrence and not laugh and point fingers at the employee (Ritti et al., 2017). I would have interpreted the issue differently from how the colleagues of Stanley did.
Identification of the Constituents (Stakeholders)
Stanley is the one who has been hurt, and the man in the flannel shirt is the one who could be hurt. The other employees of the Company could be helped. They are only victims, products of a society with a moral decay, who need help. They need to understand that it is not prudent to laugh at their colleagues and make conclusions without analysis. I could negotiate and enlighten on the benefits of treating each other well. I would also explain why each employee has a right to behave in the way they wish, provided they are not hurting anyone and are working as expected. It is a frustrating affair to have your colleagues laugh at you, interrogate you if you are their colleague, not believe it and pointing fingers (Ritti et al., 2017). It is such a humiliating experience, especially for The Company to cultivate such behaviors in their team.
Diagnosis of the Situation
The situation happened because one employee did not dress appropriately, and the other appeared not of the rank. The colleagues could not believe how Stanley worked for the Company and yet did not dress as appropriately as an employee. They did not also understand how the man in the flannel shirt was of their rank, and yet he did not appear so. Stanley, therefore, sought the counsel of his former professor, Dr. Faust, to help interpret and understand the behavior of the employees (Ritti et al., 2017). Stanley wanted to understand why the employees behaved so casually and how it might have been for the other man in the flannel shirt.
If Stanley had dressed in manner expected by his colleagues, the situation could have been prevented. Also, had the guy in the flannel shirt exposed his hands, the situation could equally have been prevented. However, people ought to have behaved better in civilized democracies such as the US. Few to none expect anyone in New York to judge their colleague by their dressing, appearance or any other factor (Ritti et al., 2017). The situation appears to be changing for the worse, and the damage cannot be undone in the present. In future, something can be done to reverse the situation.
Analysis of the Options
The manager in such a situation could have summoned the perpetrators of the discriminatory act to their office and castigated them against behaving so. This decision could have led to a change in behavior and more caution in future. It could have also cultivated a culture of respect for each other in the Company. Another manageable option could have been issuing warning letters or firing the employees. This could have made the other employees change their character lest they also lose their jobs. It could also have communicated a clear message to the Company on ethical behavior. Also, it could have led to the loss of skilled and experienced personnel from the Company (Ritti et al., 2017). This would have, however, made the Company cement its place as a champion of integrity and proper behavior.
The manager’s intention in making the decision was to state the position of the Company of all and sundry regarding proper moral and ethical behavior. The decision compares fairly well with the probable result as it ensures proper conduct in the organization. There was no need for them to discuss the problem with the affected parties before acting because they would have compromised with her decision-making process and thus make a biased judgment (Ritti et al., 2017). Besides, there was no need for the manager to disclose to the CEO, board of directors or society as a whole because the manager’s role is to make the decision and communicate, not to solicit advice.
The Manager’s Action
There was no other decision that the manager could have made to overcome the ethical issue. This is in consideration of the fact that the damage had already been done. The damage, however, could have been prevented had the manager been conducting awareness measures on the employees’ need for treating each well (Ritti et al., 2017). The manager appears bold in confronting the problem as they were causing it.
Organizational culture can conflict with one’s own personal ethics in several ways. An individual may have been brought up in a different environment and taught to behave differently from the organization’s culture. People have their own personal ethics, but organizations force them to behave differently, sometimes in contrast to what one believes or subscribes. People also tolerate some organization’s cultures because they want to protect their jobs (Ritti et al., 2017). They believe and behave differently but have to work for the organizations for professional growth.
As Stanley, I would have explained to the employees that I was not comfortable with their behavior and that I did not subscribe to their beliefs. I would have explained to them the benefits of treating people equally and not judging them because of their physical outlook. As one of the employees, I would have educated my colleagues that our behavior was not perfect. As the man in the flannel shirt, I would have minded my business but later raised the issue with the management on the behavior of my colleagues. I believe in equality and equity as my strengths which would help me in case I find myself in such a situation. I understand that everyone should be treated equally and, therefore, it is not prudent for one to subject their colleagues to any kind of anguish or discrimination.
Berger, L. A. (1995). Train all employees to solve ethical dilemmas. Best’s review-life health insurance, 95(11), 70-73.
Ritti, R. R., Levy, S., & Tocher, N. (2017). Look of a winner. In S. Levy (Ed.), The ropes to skip and the ropes to know: Studies in organizational theory and behavior (pp. 19–22). Chicago Business Press.