Applied Business Ethics
Appendix A: The Ethical Leadership Debate
Mike Gustavssons profile presents a deontological ethics approach and opposes the debate motion that it is impossible to have ethical leadership in a company that is shareholder-oriented. Gustavsson is convicted that organizational ethical behavior anchors on the ethical culture set by the management. The cause and effect rationale applies to this character profile in the sense that the level of a companys ethical behavior (outcome or effect) is determined by the type of leaders in its management (input or cause). Deontology is grounded on the principles of what is morally good, particularly on persons duty. Consistent with Kants work, what is valuable is the leaders willingness to do well. According to deontology, moral goodness of Alfaraft ABs community social responsibility should be evaluated by whether the companys leadership follows underlying moral principles. In Alfaraft ABs context, the deontological principle can be illustrated by how far its managers who are contractually bonded to the company have to obey the companys get-rich-quick bonus generation message even if to leads to unethical results.
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Consistent with Mike Gustavssons profile, Jan Edwardss representation was against the motion. As illustrated by Clean Solutions Inc., an enterprise can maintain ethical leadership without compromising its financial sustainability. This is in direct opposition of the motion because the CEO has managed to reward stakeholders and still stresses on an ethical leadership culture as opposed to the culture where young leaders strive to get into top positions without maintaining company values. Jan also indoctrinated graduates social responsibility and interpersonal skills alongside shareholder expectations. Jan also wielded power and legitimacy; hence, an apt example of dominant shareholder salience. The CEOs involvement in charity work and free educational camps placed her in stage 6 (universal ethical principles) of Kohlberg Theory because the whole processes translates into growth into job opportunities. She also takes is upon herself as her sole duty to change the low contribution trend among new graduate managers. In agreement with Schein, Jan Edwards demonstrates that ethical leaderships entails finding the best people and then develop them ethically.
Mei-Hua Felung is a Kantian non-consequentialist opposed to the motion that ethical leadership is impossible. The fact that Mei-Hua believes that strong professional behavior and strong codes of conduct creates a more ethical and moral business is evidence against the motion. Kantianism is a variant of deontological moral theories, which holds that right and wrong actions relies on the satisfaction of moral duty. Kantian ethics contrasts consequentialist theories such as egoism and utilitarianism, where the righteousness of an action is based on the consequences of the actions. Consistent Crane and Matten, Felung believes that ethical leadership can be viewed as the companys moral obligation to adhere to the predefined ethical rules and code of conduct. Mei-Hua believes that professionals should stick to professional codes of conduct, especially on issues such as fraud.
In contrast to other profiles, Deshi supports the motion by firstly opposing the need for business ethics. From experience, Deshi has witnessed capitalistic practices and leadership directed at only making entities profitable. Deshi also views codes of corporate governance as hurdles to successful business. Deshi is an egoistic individual being that is guided by self-interest. In other words, he grounds is perspectives consequentialist theories. The opposition of code of ethics implies that Deshi is at the stage 1 obedience and punishment stage of Kohlberg Theory. This state of cognitive moral development is characterized by individuals defining righteousness based on the expected punishment or rewards. Deshi lacks ethical leadership qualities because he focuses on personal ego rather than organizational success. Moreover, ethical leaders acknowledge that there is value in the people within and organization.
In summary, the Code of Corporate Governance presents a framework for controlling and directing an entity in a professional and ethical manner. The Code also represent the values of the organization, which may include accountability and transparency. With the exception of Deshi, Gustavsson, Edwards and Felung approved the role of Code of Corporate Governance. The concluding position is that the Code of Corporate Governance is essential for ethical and professional leadership but does not solely guarantee ethical leadership.
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Appendix B: The Seminar Case
In the underlying case company, failure to meet clients deadlines translated to substantial penalties. Turnover is high and employees are non-unionized. Borries, a product developer, calls of his holiday to work on a project that was pushed forward in an effort to sustain the competitiveness of the business. The key parties in the case include Borries, his immediate manager, Swee Lan (Borries girlfriend), and Marcus (Borries colleague). The ethical dilemmas in this case are determined by relationships, roles and work setting. For example, the relationship between Borries and Marcus exposes Borries to another moral dilemma despite solving his personal dilemma with the management.
The central dilemma linking these parties emanates from when duty demanded the Borries adjusts his scheduled holiday to meet his in-laws. The other decision point regards meeting clients demand launching the product in the middle of his holiday. As of consequence, Borries faced the ethical dilemma of either cancelling the holiday and attending to the client, or going ahead with the scheduled trip and meeting with his in-laws.
The second evident dilemma involved Swee Lan who had implicit influence on Borries decisions regarding relationship commitment or professional desires. Both dimensions were valued by Swee Lan. The latter was a directly influenced by her parents, whereas the latter was induced by personal relationship concerns. The third dilemma involved the manager in evaluating the customers new demands and the companys competitiveness, taking into account of Borries planned holiday. It was the managers duty to communicate the companys interest and pointing the potential loss of the lucrative account managed by Borries. The other apparent ethical issue is from Marcuss reaction to Borries decision. Besides upsetting his girlfriend, Borries faces opposition from his colleagues who feel betrayed. The reactions of Marcus and as well as the position of Borries and his manager can be well understood using normative ethical theories, including virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontology
Analysis: Borries Marcus Dilemma
First, it is important to acknowledge that emerging dilemma between Borries and Marcus occurs within the work environment. The environment involves personal relationships, management, employment and friendship. From an optimistic approach, Borries employed deontological and consequentialist ethics. Arguing from deontological ethics, Borries was not coerced by the manager and his decisions did not limit any other stakeholder to make the decision; hence, meeting the universality principle. Despite hurting Marcus and Swee Lan, none was used as the means to the end. Grounded on consequentialist ethics, Borries cancelled the holiday to serve the greatest utility.
As per the context, the company held a shareholder view marked by financial sustainability. In the same line, dismissal/terminations were grounded on employee misalignment with companys goal sustain competitiveness. If Borries had gone ahead with the scheduled trip, he faced being considered as unsuitable for the company. Evidently, his termination could directly affect his wellbeing; thus, cancelled the trip without direct coercion from the management. In this context, Borries can be viewed as welfare maximizer and grounded his decision on utilitarianism. Furthermore the competitive and aggressive environment Borries' self-interest and sense of ownership; hence, discounting associated opportunity cost. If virtue ethics was applied, Borries could have taken Marcus sentiments lightly. Virtue ethics is marked by virtuous character. Utilitarianism prevailed because consulting Marcus was not as important as meeting the companys goals, customers requests and personal benefits. Consequentially, Borries satisfied the key parties (manager and client) because the case is situated within the work environment. In the same line, Borries retained his job, which grounded on the termination trends in the company was threatened. With respect to stages of cognitive moral development, Borries was at instrumental purpose and exchange stage marked by concerns for immediate interests. The moral intensity of was high due to close proximity with stakeholders (Marcus, customer, manager and girlfriend), social consensus (displeasure from Marcus and girlfriend) and magnitude of consequences (career loss and relationship breakdown). In summary, Borries adopted the utilitarian ethical approach by weighting the cost and potential benefits (outcomes) of his decisions.
Appendix C: Interpersonal and Team-working Skills
This course module has been pivotal in my practices of the acquired interpersonal skills within a team setting. By applying these skills frequently in my team, I have been able to develop not only as an effective leader, but also as an ethical leaders based on personal leadership evaluation. For this reason, this reflection focuses on my effective leaderships skills with a team environment. In agreement with Bonnici, I can confirm that leadership takes practice. In other words, effective leadership is learnt and practiced continuously. Observably, the viability of a team partly depends on effective leadership. This was evident during seminars where most of the successful teams characteristically had good leaders and team members approached issues ethically. Personally, my good communication skills and interaction with other people enabled me to be an active participant in the group. Internally, I could time and again point out the need for respect and compromise during discussions. Externally, I could bond our team members with other teams. At some point I also oversaw the discussion of ethical leadership within the team and real life context. This particular experience opened up my approach teamwork and improved my understanding of ethical dilemmas and how they can be time consuming to address.
The Holiday Case in particular was essential to my interpersonal skills development because provided a platform to apply my critical analysis skills. The Case also enabled me to relate normative ethical theories to real life scenarios by either supporting or opposing motions that required an ethical perspective. As Schein explains, effective leadership stimulates individual motivation and performance. As a team leader, my active listening skill created transparency within the team. I also had to take into account every persons viewpoint to enhance trust and commitment. Consequentially, all teammates displayed open-mindedness and were willing to analyze different perspectives in order to arrive at the final point. In conclusion, this module presented a platform to witness the importance of virtue ethics, as when team members treat each other with respect during formal and informal interactions trust builds. In turn, individual and team performance improves.
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