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Current Ethical Issues Essay

1535 words - 7 pages

Current Ethical Issues

University of Phoenix
Ethics in Management
June 12, 2011

In today’s society there are many decisions made every day that have an effect on not only a single person but can contribute to decisions and actions that many other people make as well. Many decisions have an ethical standpoint that each person must address to make sure that it is a decision they are ready and willing to make. Each decision needs to incorporate the main issues at hand, who it will affect and how, as well as any possible side effects from the decision. Recently, the Phoenix Police Department of Arizona has been faced with many ethical dilemmas that have scared their image. ...view middle of the document...

The Business Dictionary defines ethical standards as “Principles that when followed, promote values such as trust, good behavior, fairness, and/or kindness” ((Business, n.d., para. 1). Although the case is still pending, evidence accumulated in a 17,000 page investigation indicated that many of these principles were breached (Ferraresi, 2010, p. 1). For example, the principle of trust is in question between management and employee even if the employee is found innocent. The officers did not show fairness to others, only themselves showing greed for financial gain. In addition, most companies have a code of conduct manual and law enforcement agencies are no exception. Codes of conduct are guidelines for how the employees of an organization are expected to behave and conduct themselves while performing their official duties, and in the case of most government positions, the personal life of the employee is under the microscope as well. In this situation with the four Phoenix police officers, the alleged misconduct was after regular police duty.
One interesting topic about this public incident is the ethics and ethical systems at work for the key individuals in the organization. Curtis Brown of Philosophy and Computation from Trinity University breaks down the consequentialism theory as it relates to each individual involved; first, by what is best for the agent ‘ethical egoism’, and second, for everyone affected ‘utilitarianism’ (Brown, 2001). In this case the key individuals all display consequentialism behaviors, specifically in reference to ethical egoism, as each person made decisions based on what was best and beneficial for themselves believing they could escape consequence. In this event three police officers and one sergeant are the main suspects, and with a sergeant involved, leadership of the organization comes into question. A sergeant is not only counted upon for more acquired experience, but also for setting an example and remaining responsible for their assigned officers. Therefore, the responsibility and ethical behavior of a sergeant is greater than an officer as a sergeant is of higher ranking. This leadership came into play, although all individuals involved are adults and accountable for their own actions, by the sergeants’ participation giving the ethical impression to the subordinate officers’ their actions are acceptable. Leadership is extremely important in every organization, and although Gary Marche reveals, “There is no evidence to support the “individual rotten apple” theory” he ties corruption to leadership as the fish is known to rot at the head (Marche, 51).

When we think of Police Officers, we imagine individuals that are presented with a code of conduct. Officers are thought to be people that can be trusted and will help uphold the law. It is rare to hear about an officer involved investigation as most officers are able to maintain a good record and make confident decision with the moral code in...

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