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Ethics Issues Name University of Phoenix MGT 216 Instructor Date Ethics Issue Bateman & Snell (2008) states that business ethics “comprises the moral principles and standards that guide in the world business” (p. 181). In today’s business world, all organizations have a legal responsibility to obey local, federal, state, and international laws. Additionally, every organization has the ethical responsibility to meet the social expectations that are not translated in laws. Finally, every organization has a corporate social responsibility which is “the obligation toward society assumed by business.
The socially responsible business maximizes its positive effects on society and minimize its negative effects” (Bateman & Snell, 2009, p. 181). This paper will discuss three ethical issues within today’s business environment: harassment, customer confidence issues, and truth in advertising. Harassment, Sexual, and Otherwise Harassment is considered an ethical issue as it “unfairly focuses job satisfaction, advancement, or retention on a factor other than the ability to do the job” (Trevino & Nelson, 2006, p. 2). Any harassment may encourage employees to miss work and increase employee turnovers which will affect the company’s overall productivity and employee morale. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) identified two forms of sexual harassment, both covered by “Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964” (Bohlander & Snell, 2007). The first form of sexual harassment is the “quid pro quo harassment” (this for that). In particular, sexual favors are demanded in return of a job benefit or a promotion. Quid Pro Quo” may also occur when an employee has been threatened with demotion or punishment for failing to meet sexual demands. The second form is called “Hostile Work Environment”. This form of harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct which interferes “with job performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment” (Bohlander & Snell, 2007, p. 112). Most organizations take any form of harassment seriously where most violations of harassment policies result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination with the employees.
For example, at Frito Lay, any employees who believe that they are a victim of sexual harassment; first, file a verbal or written complaint to the district leader. If they desire to not discuss the matter with the district leader, any other member of management can be contacted. Second, the company will open an investigation promptly. The investigation will be performed by the accuser’s peers. The investigation will be conducted in a discreet manner and all the information related to the investigation will be kept confidential.
Any employee found guilty will receive the appropriate disciplinary actions, which include their immediate discharge. Customer Confidence Issues Another ethical issue that oftentimes can be noted in today’s business world is the disclosure of costumer personal information. Nowadays, in small businesses and major corporations, protecting clients’ personal information is a priority. Business owners realize how important is to ensure the privacy and security of clients’ personal information (i. e. social security numbers, bank accounts, or credit card numbers).
A disclosure or loss of confidential information makes companies liable to the point of even facing lawsuits. Truth in Advertising A third ethical issue that may occur in today’s business environment is related to those forms of advertisement directed to mislead consumers; more specifically, salespeople tend to exaggerate, by using rhetoric, the benefits that their products may offer to those consumers who may be interested in purchasing such products. Rhetoric is the use of any possible means of persuasion. The use of rhetoric is visible in marketing, advertising and politic.
Often people look to their opinions, user experiences and magazines reviews, the internet, before purchasing a product. However, an excessive use of rhetoric has its drawbacks. Twisting or omitting to tell the truth about products can produce devastating effects not only for those organizations that take use such unethical practices but also for their employees who are involved in spreading the false information (Trevino & Nelson, 2006). Conclusion Harassment, customer confidence issues, and truth in advertising are three examples of ethical issues that one can run into the course of their career.
Organizations that include ethics in their organizational cultures unlikely will face humiliating collapses due to one or more employees who ended up breaking legal, ethical, and corporate social responsibility in order to maximize their personal gains. References Bateman, T. S. and Snell S. (2009). Management: leading and collaborating in the competitive world (8th ed. ). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin Retrieved July 19,2010 Trevino, L. K, and Nelson, K. A. (2006). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed. ). Hoboken, N. J. : John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved July 19, 2010
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