Moral Issues in business

When I was asked to observe the cashiers. I didn’t ignore it and accepted it happily. I observed one by one to all of them although it was very busy and difficult for me. I didn’t marked red to any of them instead I marked one of them as Green and couple of them as Amber and gave them the feedback needed along with the identification of the improvement required. I presented the observed report to the duty manager and the manager of the checkout who in turn asked me the reasons behind that. I explained it to them and just told that I wrote what I observed. They came with the previous observation report but I didn’t change my mind and told that I don’t know what happened in the past but that was the situation today.

Justification of the Solution.

I decided to observe them thinking that it was one of my responsibility. To ignore not to observe them would have been unethical in a way because I was running away from my duties. Besides it was a golden opportunity for me to stop those cashiers from being dismissed. I didn’t wanted to see anything being unethical and this is why I decided to observe. Now the situation was to protect them as well as myself from the conflict. I didn’t mark all of them green because doing so meant I was completely against all of others who had observe them previously and bringing in the situation where I would be told that I didn’t know how to do observation.

I didn’t mark them Red because that was not fair to them. They didn’t deserve red but doing so I might have joined the whole team against them and hence would have made the decisions of all others more stronger. This is why I marked one of them Green and the others as Red because they were in between the worst and the best. When questioned by my colleagues I explained them that they were found perfect when I observed them and I just did what I felt was right. I also told them that the cashiers are frustrated and need some motivation. This is the only way to motivate them and the cashiers are now motivated. I explained that employee are the most important assets and we cant afford to lose our trained employee because training costs a lot of money.

Reasons against solution I was blamed by my colleagues that I shouldn’t have been so critical to them. They said I marked them green and amber only because I liked those cashiers and they like me. They said that they were closer to me. But I did this because my moral didn’t allowed me to do that. But I think I should have marked them green and not even amber which I didn’t only not to be so critical to my colleagues. I didn’t want to lose my friends and I didn’t want them to go against me which forced me to mark them amber. Similarly I didn’t want the management to say that either I didn’t know how to do the job or my colleagues were incapable.

Relationship of Solution to ethical theories. Ethical theories are broad statements that cover or include several ethical rules and principles, usually systematically related. A theory provides a framework within which someone can determine an ethically appropriate action. The various types of ethical theories are as under; 1. Teleology: A theory deciding whether an action is good or not based on its result. An act is considered morally right or acceptable, if it produces a desired result. Eg. Pleasure, knowledge, career growth. In other words it is where the moral worth of and action is assessed on the basis of its consequences. It is divided into two parts.

a) Egoism: A moral theory that, in its most common version (universal egoism), states that each person ought to act in his or her own self-interest. Right of acceptable terms of behaviour based on consequences to the individual. b) Utilitarianism: A moral theory that say that what is morally right is whatever produces the greatest overall good for others (which may or may not include future generations of people, animals, ecosystems, etc.). This theory is often summarized as “what is morally right is what produces the greatest good for the greatest number.” This ethical theory states that it is the consequences of our actions that make it right or wrong, not our intentions . Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that gauges the worth of an action by its “end” or “consequences”.

2. Deontology: An action is right if it is in accordance with a moral rule or principle. A moral rule is one that is required by rationality. It focuses on the rights of the individual. Intention and not consequence is of paramount importance. These are some actions which cannot be performed despite utility. Deontological theories state that acts have intrinsic properties that make them right or wrong , not simple their consequences. 3. Virtue Ethics: An action is right if it is what a virtuous agent would do in the circumstances. A virtuous agent is one who acts virtuously, that is, one who has and exercises the virtues. A virtue is a character trait a human being needs to flourish or live well.

4. Relativist Prospective: The view that denies the possibility of making objective ethical judgements and that ethical standards depend on or are relative to an individual’s feelings, culture, religion, and so forth. Ethical behaviour is defined by the experiences of the individual or group. The significant others ( the relativist) forms a basis for decision making. Such beliefs may change over time.5.Organisational justice:  a) Distributive justice: Based on the evaluation or outcome of the business relationship.It evaluates benefits and equality. b) Procedural justice: Based on the process and activities that produce results.Decision- making / level of access /openness/ communication/ participation.

c) Interactional justice: Based on communication levels / processes within parties of a business 6. Ethics of rights: Any position in ethics which claims we should or should not do something because of that action’s effect on the rights of others. The above case can be related to the theory of Deontology. Here the intention of the supervisors is to mark them red whatsoever the performance is. They don’t see anything and just make an issue to fulfill their desire.

According to the theory of Deontology an action is right if it is in accordance with a moral rule or principle. A moral rule is one that is required by rationality. It focuses on the rights of the individual. Intention and not consequence is of paramount importance. These are some actions which cannot be performed despite utility. Deontological theories state that acts have intrinsic properties that make them right or wrong , not simple their consequences. This is very obvious here in the above scenario so I have related this case with the theory of deontology.

Conclusion.

Ethics has been an important issue today. Although the businesses try ti be ethical they cannot be 100% ethical. There will be a point where they need to bend the moral issues exception may be the professional case. Sometimes the situation come where someone tries to be ethical but then he is in dilemma over it. If he is tries to perform the task in ethical way then he/ she poses threat from the third party but if he is not doing that then he is unethical. But in case of any ethical dilemma several options can be seen among which some might be helpful and people select it. For the selected option there might be lots of support and lots of against. The similar situation has come for myself but it has been solved ethically as the ethics is quite important today.

References:

1. Business Ethics by O.C. Ferrell, John Fraedrich, and Linda Ferrell. 5th edition. Houghton Mifflin Company Boston New York.

2. Ethical issues in Professional Life by Joan C. Callahan 1988. New York Oxford Oxford university Press.

3. Moral Issues in business, 8th edition, Wadsworth: Belmont, Ca.