Management and Ethics Essay Example

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A case study of Visy Industries


Visy Industries was formed in Melbourne, in the year 1948 and was located in Australia and has since expanded to become one of the largest privately owned paper, packaging and recycling companies in the world. Its current staff count is 9500 people in sourced from both Australia and the United States. It was ranked the best private company in Australia in 2015 with sales worth over $5 billion. Today, Visy’s operates from different locations including; Shangai to San Fransisco, from Sydney to Singapore, it has established more than 180 facilities across the world.

Research methodology

There are various research methods and designs which can be used. Specific to our study however, the case study research design is going to be used. A case study is described as a study on a particular issue or situation without necessary use of statistical techniques. It is used to narrow down a very wide researchable area to one easily researchable topic. It is a used to test the applicability of scientific theories and models in the real world. The main aim of this research is to establish the roles and functions of managers play and the risks and challenges they have to address in today’s changing organizations. It will also seek to discuss the impact of an ethical culture within an organization and the role of the managers in the same.

Management and ethical culture are well known to be among the key drivers of successful organizations such as the company of study above. In a case study, it is necessary to come up with ways of how to collect data in order to prevent the occurrence of there being irrelevant data collected. The research will be specific in analyzing the management performance of the company and also analyze the ethical culture in the organization. Specific to these two areas of study, the information collected will be relevant. The study will seek to answer the questions by linking the management performance and practices to the company’s good performance. It will also seek to find out the ethical culture that has been put in place and how it is contributing to the performance of the company.

Like any other research design, the case study design has its own benefits and challenges which will be highlighted below. It is argued that the case study design provides results that are more realistic than a study that is carried out statistically only. On the other hand, some argue that since it is a very narrow field that is it results cannot be used to answer the entire question. Another disadvantage is that a case study cannot be generalized to fit an entire population or eco system. The results obtained are specific to the object studied. In this study for example, the results cannot be generalized to fit all the companies in Australia. Rather, it is only specific to the company studied. One more advantage of this design is that when informing others of your results, case studies are considered more interesting than statistical results. Many people will prefer to read a case study report rather than pages of statistical calculations.


Management is a function majorly affected by the organization behavior of a company. Different theories have been discussed to explain organization behavior. As seen earlier, a case study sets to test a scientific theory or model and check its applicability in the real world. The study will test two closely related theories which are the neo- classical approach and Taylor’s scientific management approach. The approach used in this theory seeks to achieve efficiency, specialization and simplification through the planning of tasks (Koumparoulis & Solomos, 2012). He acknowledged that the best method of increasing productivity is through promoting a relationship between the workers and the management based on trust. To boost this level of trust, he suggested that; the workers should also benefit from the advantages of improved productivity, workers anxieties should be eliminated to ensure they are peaceful, workers abilities and skills need to be improved through training and the ”boss” traditional method of management done away with.

Four principles were developed by Taylor upon which productivity can be improved; a scientific approach to each element of an employees work should be used to replace the old rule- of- thumb. Workers should be selected using scientific methods rather than the traditional methods. Members of the organization should be picked based on some selection analysis criteria, and then trained, taught the required skills and finally helped to develop. Management and workers cooperation rather than conflict. In order for all work to be done according to the principles developed scientifically, managers need to work in cooperation with all employees instead of the existing conflict between the two levels of people. Scientific training of the workers. Training should be done by competent people, using the required methods (O’Flynn, 2007). The neo- classical approach lays more focus on the workers. It recognizes the need of both individual and group behavior and lays much emphasis on human inter- relationships. The neoclassical approach emphasizes human inter- relation and social interaction among the workers and their supervisors. This emphasis is based on the Hawthorne experiments. The attention an individual worker receives influences their morale to work. High morale often translates to improvement in productivity (Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2015).

Other theories have also been discussed as part of the classical organization theory. These include; the bureaucratic approach according to Weber which views an entity as a part of the larger society and therefore comes up with principles for the establishment of a formal organization with a structure and one which is considered stable. It is however not considered to be very applicable due to matters of resistance to change, different personality of the workers, conflict of objectives, limitation of categorization and the like (Lounsbury & Carberry, 2005). Another theory is the administrative theory according to Fayol. The elements of the theory relate to the execution of tasks, also included is the concept of line and staff, committees and functions of management and the principles of management (Sapru, 2013).

We certainly cannot assume the importance of high quality production and well performing workers in the success of an organization. For an organization to be said to be doing well, they need to be producing items products of high quality. This quality production is facilitated by workers who are well motivated. Motivation will result to a worker being more efficient and effective as they carry out their duties. One of the roles of a manger aside from planning, leading and controlling is to check out the welfare of the employees to see that they are well and that all factors surrounding them give them a chance to be effective.

Motivation will arise from different sources such as; absence of anxiety or worry among the workers. Worry and anxiety may be as a result of lack of basic needs, fears of job insecurity and such. These issues were however addressed by Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of needs chat which should guide the managers to ensure that their employees are well taken care of hence they will be motivated (Maslow, 2011). Managers should also ensure that the working conditions for the employees are favorable. Fredrick suggests that an external environment which is conducive motivates the employees to perform well (Herzberg, 2005). The policies and the structures which are set should be in such a way that they favor the employee to some extent. Another great source of employee motivation is when they are given a chance to make themselves better. This is achieved by training them giving them exposure to new skills or improving what they already have (Latham, & Pinder, 2005). This goes a long way in boosting their morale seeing that they will have some new skill that they may want to put to practice to improve what they have been doing and hence improved productivity.

Aside from all that, how the managers relate with their employees is also very important seeing that a good rapport between the management and the workers will see that there are no conflicts among the two levels. This relation is passed down to the way employees relate among themselves and hence peace all the way. An organization without conflict is definitely deemed to perform better. Even with the employee needs being taken care of, the production quality needs to be kept on track. There needs to be a minimum quality expectation which sets the standards for production. Despite the much investment put in human capital, with low quality production, it would all be a waste.

Ethical considerations

Ethical practices and cultures are very important in the overall success of an organization. These ensure that the quality of goods produced is as per the requirements (Giacalone & Thompson, 2006). Our study company being a manufacturing company, some of the ethical considerations that need to be made include; ensuring a safe manufacturing environment. The presence of raw materials and machines makes presence of safety procedures mandatory both legally and ethically. In addition to basic safety guidelines, there needs to be a reasonable balance between inconvenience, production and safety. Employees should be involved in developing safety regulations in a production company. This will make implementation easy. The workplace also needs to be secure, free from sexual harassment and other workplace hostility. All employees should be treated fairly.

Ethical concerns influence the overall approach of a company towards destruction to the environment caused by its manufacturing operations. Taking to consideration both legal and ethical requirements, a company needs to look for environmental friendly means of production. Company’s need to reduce the waste from production and regulate the release of this waste into the atmosphere. They should prevent the release of gases which are not environmental friendly. The goods they produce also need to be environmental friendly. Manufacturing companies take liability of their products once in the market. Ethical concerns provide that a company should only ship its product to the market after they have been tested for safety. A pre- test of a products safety protects the intended customers from the use of dangerous and harmful products. It also protects the company from possible law suits and it fulfills an ethical responsibility.

Role and Legitimacy of the Management Function

Managers play a very key role in the functioning of an organization. They oversee the day- to- day running of any organization. They may be described as the people who come up with an organizations structure and determine the modes of interaction among the different aspects in their organizations (Augier & Teece, 2009). Management entails six basic functions; staffing, planning, motivating, organizing, controlling and leading. Different management levels will be involved at different levels in the execution of the structure designed. The management role is very necessary seeing that they are tasked with the duty to design a structure of how the organization will run and implement it. Without this structure, an organization is deemed to perform poorly as performance is majorly determined by a weak internal system. In the current day, there is a lot of influence on the managers from both the social and political environments.

The political environment influences management in that the government will set policies which organizations are expected to abide with (Keim & Hillman, 2008). It is therefore the duty of managers to see to that the organization they run fully complies with the rule of the land. The social environment also influences in that for any organization to maintain its place in the current society, they need to keep up with the dynamic change that is taking place socially (Becker & Murphy, 2009). Managers are therefore tasked with seeing that their organizations are not left behind.

Qualitative Analysis

From the information that was collected from the case study, the theories being tested are very applicable in the running of organizations even with the rapid changes that are taking place. The company has put in place policies to ensure the quality of their products. This is ensured by producing safe products which are of high quality as per the ethical and legal requirements. Their high performance can be attributed to high sales. The sales are achievable through the diversification of markets throughout the globe. They have different outlets around the world and this ensures they are able to deliver to their customers as per their requirements and expectations. This quality of production is an indicator that the workers are efficient in their duty of production. This can be attributed to high motivation among them resulting from a conducive work environment provided to them and one with less anxiety hence peaceful. It can therefore be concluded that the classical organization theory is very practical in organizations currently and should therefore be implemented for the betterment of the company.


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