Ethics Essay

4350 words - 18 pages

Chapter 7

Managing for Ethical Conduct

Contents: (Please note: the Instructor Guide for every chapter will follow this structure.)
1. Chapter Outline
2. Teaching Notes
3. In-Class Exercises
4. Homework Assignments
5. Additional Resources

Chapter Outline

I. Introduction

II. In Business, Ethics Is about Behavior

A. Practical Advice for Managers: Ethical Behavior

III. Our Multiple Ethical Selves

A. The Kenneth Lay Example
B. The Dennis Levine Example
C. Practical Advice for Managers’ Multiple Ethical Selves

IV. Rewards and Discipline

A. People Do What is Rewarded and Avoid Doing What is Punished
...view middle of the document...

Diffusing Responsibility by Creating Psychological Distance
E. Practical Advice for Managers: Personal Responsibility

IX. Conclusion

A. Am I Walking My Ethical Talk?

X. Discussion Questions

XI. Case: Sears, Roebuck and Co.: The Auto Center Scandal

XII. Short Case

Teaching Notes - Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever been in a situation, especially a work situation, where the norms supported a particular behavior, ethical or unethical, where you felt pressured to go along? Explain.

Undergraduate students have limited work experience. But, they will often cite examples from summer jobs, such as working in a fast food restaurant, where the rules said you could not eat the food, but everyone did. Or, they may have had a job where they worked hard at first, but after being charged with "rate-busting," slowed down to match the work levels of regular workers.

Graduate students with work experience will have lots of examples - some good and some bad. It is good to solicit both. That way the message is clear that organizations and managers vary and perhaps one should attempt to learn about the ethical values of an organization or manager before accepting a job.

Probes to Stimulate Discussion

With examples of pressure toward unethical behavior, ask:
"What was the nature of the pressure? Why did you feel you should go along? What options did you think you had, if you did not go along?"

With examples of pressure toward ethical behavior, ask:
* "How did you feel about the pressure?" Often the reaction is quite positive. Rather than pressure, they may experience it as "support" for doing the right thing. Discuss the difference.

* "Do you think it is okay to pressure people to do 'the right thing,' such as supporting a blood drive or the United Way?"

2. Have you ever been in a situation where the rewards explicitly or implicitly supported unethical conduct? Explain.

Again, the discussion will depend upon examples generated by the students. The most frequent examples will probably be the sales job that rewards on commission and provides no guidance regarding how the goal is reached.

3. Can you think of situations in which unethical behavior was dealt with appropriately (punished justly) or inappropriately? What were the reactions of others in the organization?

Generally, students will speak positively about situations where "bad guys" were punished, and negatively about situations where people "got away with" misconduct. This reaction supports the idea that people want to work in “just” environments, where reasonable rules are enforced.

Probes to Stimulate Discussion

* "How would you feel if someone cheated on a test and was not disciplined?"

* “Would you feel differently if the test was curved?”

This is the time to discuss the important social effects of rewards and punishments. As a manager, you need to think about not only the person you are...

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