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Communication Ethics Essay

4042 words - 17 pages

ORGANIZATIONAL BULLYING: ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL EMAIL
By Ruth Ragatz Dr. Fritz COMM 494W-75 October 12, 2013

ORGANIZATIONAL BULLYING: ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL EMAIL

Introduction

I. United Healthcare – The assessment A. Determine the “Good” of the Organization 1. Historical Moment A. Dwelling Place B. Community of Memory B. Multiplicity of communication ethics 1. Define Communication Ethics for United Healthcare 2. Organizational Culture 3. Power and Leadership A. High Power B. Monological arrogance C. Dialogic Ethics 1. 2. 3. 4. Attentiveness Ground of Self Ground of Other Dialogic Civility

II. United Healthcare – The analysis A. Codes, Procedures, ...view middle of the document...

125). These lines, a blurring of public and private space, as well as the “distance and anonymity afforded by many electronic media…leads users to be less inhibited in their communication…resulting in namecalling, sarcasm, and cyberbullying or emotional abuse” (Miller, 2012, p. 248). Noting the issues that can arise from the use of technology, a focus on the use of organizational email requires further investigation. While it is true that large organizations have a monumental task of delivering information to employees that are scattered around the country; negative messages (terminations, job eliminations, bad news) delivered by organizational leadership have a profound impact on employees. The tone conveyed by the writer/leadership and the perception of the receiver/employees can be vastly different; fears, prejudice and anxiety are elevated through the use of email in this fashion, resulting

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in "moral muteness" and a bullying type of atmosphere. Therefore, organizational leadership’s use of email to deliver negative news should be heavily and thoughtfully considered in order to avoid ethical implications and organizational turmoil amongst employees. To demonstrate some of the ethical implications and organizational turmoil as noted in the introduction, an example from this author’s current employer will be assessed and analyzed. Within this example, the reader will be provided a background of the former and current organization, former and current communication styles, former and current organizational culture as well as a brief look at the current leadership structure of the organization. It is necessary for one to have a full appreciation of what has occurred throughout the years within the organization in order to properly assess and interpret the current situation as it relates to communication ethics and the improper use of technology. To begin with, detailing and inquiring into the historical moment of the organization allows one to determine the identity and development of the “good” of the organization. Similar to “an ethical map…a guide, but not an answer…communication ethics involves an encounter, a sharing between persons, the uniting of communities in a public account…and lives in the good that we seek to protect and promote” (Arnett, Harden Fritz, & Bell, 2009, pp. 12-13). The former organization (Unison) experienced an encounter that has shaped the historical moment and identity of today. Unison was acquired by United Healthcare in February 2008. Prior to the acquisition Unison was a profitable, engaging, well-respected managed healthcare organization. Although there may not have been a “stated” culture, one had been passed from employee to employee

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through stories of its founder, Warren Carmichael, and the honest, personable, engaging individual he was. This informally stated culture through stories, engaged new and old employees alike, and helped to strengthen not only our internal bond, but also the...

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