4ORGANISATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES
Organisations and their Employees
Ethics and morals in the workplace go hand-in-hand. Employers and employees should be concerned about ethics and moral issues in the workplace (Shaw & Barry, 2015). This is because operating a moral and ethical business does not depend only on how the employer and the management conduct themselves, but also how employees behave and interact with the customers and their employers. Drawing from the course materials, although there are laws that govern employment relationships, employees and employers could have moral responsibilities and rights other than what is demanded by law.
Drawing from the module, I have learnt that our actual moral responsibilities and rights are subject to debate. For instance, employees hold a right to have a safe workplace, privacy, good pay with employers trying to push their employees into a attaining the organisational goals. Employees are required to remain loyal to their employers, follow their employer’s orders and instructions and avoid conflict of interests. With respect to the Brigitte Hargood case, “Must Employees be Moral Robots”, it is clear that employers require their employees to remain loyal to them. According to Werhane and Bowie (2008), employees have the obligations of confidentiality, loyalty and obedience. However, countless issues arise in the workplace that jeopardises employees’ loyalty. The case of Brigitte Hargood clearly demonstrates how the need to remain loyal to the employees sometime affects our moral values. Brigitte is aware that she needs to follow her employer’s instructions, but at the same time she understands that booking her customers whom she has known for long and have developed good relationships with, in a sub-standard hotel would negatively affect their relationships besides affecting the business. In this view, just like Brigitte, employees have different moral choices to make. Therefore, employees should weigh the obligations and considerations they have to customers or third parties in cases of divided loyalties and conflicting moral duties.
While employees have the obligation of obedience and loyalty to their employers, employers have the obligation not to discriminate. It is unethical to violate the equality of other human beings. Drawing from the case of Frances Patris,’ The Locker Room Bias’, it is unethical for employers to discriminate employees based on their gender. The case clearly indicates that discrimination and prejudice still hold strong effect on the workplace and instigate serious moral issues. While it is may be legitimate to discriminate job applicants based on qualifications and merits, it is illegitimate and irrational to discriminate job applicants based on issues such as gender, race, nationality and disability. According to Keinert-Kisin (2016), women and men have to be treated equally in all employment conditions, be it selection, promotion and recruitment criteria. In this regard, employers must be aware of measures that may seem neutral, but disproportionately disadvantage members of one gender.
The module has enlightened me on the moral issues in the workplace. I have learnt that although employees have some obligations to their employers, there are numerous moral choices the employees need making. Scores of these decisions should be established based on their moral obligations. However, some of the preferred moral actions calls for courage and surpasses the call of duty. Both employers and employees can benefit from workplace integrity where integrity entails moral character and judgment, leadership values and honesty.
Keinert-Kisin, C.(2016). Corporate social responsibility and discrimination: Gender bias in personnel selection. UK: Springer.
Shaw, W., & Barry, V.(2015). Moral issues in business. UK: Cengage Learning.
Werhane, P., & Bowie, N.(2008). Employment and employee rights. UK: John Wiley & Sons.