Veronica, an employee of Great Builds is faced with a dilemma after learning that the company CEO has physically and verbally been abusing his subordinates, especially the female employees.
It was alleged that Mick Handsome, the CEO of the company, was “a ladies man” and he liked to flirt with women. However, this was never a big issue until now when complains about his personal conduct have been put forward to the Chairman. There had been three main instances when Mick behaved unethically, and these rumours eventually got to the chairperson.
In the first instance, Mick behaved in an inappropriate manner towards the young female employees during a company social gathering. The second instance was when a newspaper tabloid ran a story about him attending a dubious party accompanied by women. The last instance was when the human resource manager admitted to Veronica that several female employees had reported Mick for sexually, verbally, and physically harassing them.
Ethical issues in the case
Business ethics are the moral values that are accepted in the corporate world. All businesspersons and corporations have an obligation to abide by these values. This ensures that there is no conflict between the players in the market. It also ensures that any conflict arising has a defined solution. Business ethics enhance respect while competitors face each other. Business ethics are the morally accepted values in the society. They define the conduct of both the individuals working in firms and firms themselves as entities.
Failure to abide by the stipulation of business ethics could cause a lawsuit. This ensures that they pay the damages accrued to their act or face the injunctions, as stated by a court of law. It is extremely crucial that individuals and firms abide by business ethics. This is because the violation of these ethics could ruin the reputation that they hold. Consequently, this implies that they could lose their market share as their good will deteriorates.
Violation of business ethics leads to ethical issues. It is also attributed to the fact that they could lead to collision among the players in the market. Ethical issues are clear and not confusing. They are independent of other issues in the organization and result from the violation of moral issues and ethics accrued to the society.
In the case involving the female employees being sexually harassed, several ethical issues are identifiable. The sexual harassment against the female employees was against both the business code of ethics and the moral code of ethics. This is because Mick was taking advantage of his superiority at the company to issue continuous threats. It was also unethical when he inappropriately touched them and embarrassed them without their consent.
Making body contact with employees was unethical. This is because he did so against their wishes. Verbal and physical sexual harassment was unethical. This implied that the executive had violated the provisions of both codes of ethics. Visiting places with a poor reputation and questionable morals is also unethical. This is because, as a company CEO, he represents the company and the company's image to the society. Thus, by visiting dubious rendezvous, he degrades the reputation of the company he represents. Now this ethical issue has affected the reputation of the company. This is because he has been a representative of the company and all his actions directly affected it.
The fact that the female employees reported the unethical behaviour to the human resource manager was the right action to take. Managers have a responsibility to ensure that ethical stewardship is maintained in the company. Ethical stewardship, leadership, and trustworthiness go hand in hand. A strong leader is one who is ethical and trustworthy. Such a leader is goal-oriented, and normally he achieves his set goals and objectives.
Company leaders have considerable influence on the employees. This implies that it is necessary for these leaders to be credible and trustworthy. This will ensure that the company is secure under that leadership. This can only be achieved through the continued conformity to ethical standards. Eventually, respect will be earned and the efficiency in the performance of duties and responsibilities will be enhanced. Gradually, the organization will be reaping the benefits as the goals of optimization are achieved.
The managers in Great Builds have a responsibility to ensure that they enhance ethical stewardship. They also have a responsibility to ascertain that they investigate the matter to find out whether the allegations are true or unfounded. They also have a duty to guarantee that their employees are ethical in their undertakings. An organization needs to ensure that they recruit people who have strong personal ethics. This will provide confidence that the same attitudes are transferred to their work. Because of this, they will be able to abide by business ethics. This needs to be the case, especially for the management. This is because they are the leaders who are to be emulated by their subordinates. This is provided by the concept of ethical stewardship.
In any organization, there are leaders who are entrusted with running the firm. They are bestowed with the responsibility to carry out the managerial functions effectively and efficiently. They should implement their leadership skills in performance of their duties and responsibilities. Leadership and management may appear to have the same meaning, but this is not always true. For effective management, one requires leadership skills in order to gain confidence and trust from the people he serves. As the proverbs goes, “unity is strength”, and the same applies to people working together in achieving the same goal.
A reputable and successful leader should also be decisive in his entire decision making process. This goes hand in hand with self-confidence even in the most difficult situations. This helps instil faith in the subordinates even when things are tough. A leader should also exercise humility and should occasionally take some time off to socialize with his followers. This is crucial because it helps maintain a strong working relationship with them.
If the human resource manager takes no action against the CEO, he will have failed to perform his managerial functions. Trust should also be built between seniors and juniors in the work place. This is especially so because of delegation of duties. A manager, for example, should trust his juniors to be able to delegate duties to them. This will enhance his fulfilment of his directing function in a firm. Juniors should be trustworthy. This ensures that they always act in the best interest of the company. By doing so, they work together towards the achievement of the set goals and objectives. Enhancing trust in an organization helps the individuals in their quest to abide by business ethics. Trustworthy individuals always ensure that they accomplish the set goals and objectives in a firm.
Studies have indicated that leaders who are deemed as ethical stewards tend to have committed followers. This is because the leader earns trust in the employees and they follow whatever choices he or she makes. This implies that all leaders should implement ethical stewardship as a form of governance. It has also been noted that the leaders of successful companies are those who are ethical stewards. This is because leaders have a significant impact on the direction and general perception of the company members or followers.
Ethical stewardship, leadership, and trustworthiness go hand in hand. An exceptional leader is the one who is ethical and trustworthy. Such a leader is goal-oriented, and many a time he achieves his set goals and objectives. Company leaders have enormous influence on the members. This implies that it is necessarily for these leaders to be credible and trustworthy. This will ensure that the company is secure under that leadership. This can be achieved through the conformity to ethical standards. Eventually, respect will be earned and efficiency in the performance of duties and responsibilities will be enhanced. Gradually, the organization will be reaping the benefits as the goals of optimization are achieved.
The ethical issues identified in the case influence both the primary and secondary stakeholders. This is because the company is bound to incur numerous losses due to the deterioration in good will because of the scandals that may arise. It is also bound to incur losses in terms of the employees who are likely to accept certain positions in other firms. This is because they could be afraid of being subjected to similar treatment by their superiors. This implies that they could lose potentially beneficial employees because of the harassment. In addition, if the employees decide to sue the company, it is bound to incur a massive loss in terms of damages as well as lose its sterling reputation.
The case is an illustration of the moral decay that is existent in the society. It also shows the difficulties that the female employees are subject to because of the masculinity stereotype that they are inferior. I am of the opinion that such immoral and unethical behaviour should not be tolerated in either the workplace or anywhere else. In the case of the CEO who harassed his female colleagues, he should be summoned. Companies should also ensure that they run competency tests from time to time s to ascertain that they are efficient and effective.