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Ethics And Decision Making Essay

2183 words - 9 pages

How far can organisations ensure that their decisions are ethical?

Management is about decisions and effective decision making results from managing in an ethical manner

Decision making is s process which enables an organisation to reach their set goals and follow or even change their mission statements depending and in accordance to the changing environment.
“Management and managers are important in today’s world because what they do has an impact on everyone’s lives” (Cunliffe 2009) Therefore decision making plays a big role in any firm. Decision making is

“A conscious process of making choices between one or more alternatives with the intention of moving toward some desired ...view middle of the document...

Nike uses cheap labour in many third world companies to produce their goods; this is seen to be highly unethical by many individuals however this has never had a negative impact on the companies’ efficiency. Although they have been in the news and faced a lot of bad publicity Nike continues to use sweatshops.

However to reduce the bad publicity ‘Nike has pledged to crack down on the amount of overtime done at factories it uses worldwide as part of efforts to improve working conditions.’ ( According to Snell (2008) doing what is ethical can go against the business objectives and generated the ‘main objectives to business ethics’ model. Snell suggests that the company has psychological egotism which means they act in their own best interests which Nike is doing as they are a money making business (this can also be refereed to as interest utilitarianism Parfitt 1984), they have machiavellian concerns which means ‘the means justify the ends.’ With regards to Nike this once again is true as long as they meet their long term objectives of profit maximization they don’t care how they have got there. Furthermore the model states that as long as the company is acting legally ethics and morals does not matter, this once again is true for Nike as they make sure that the goods produced meet the legal quality control however they don’t pay much attention to the conditions in which the employees work.

Robbins and Coulter state that decisions can either be ‘non- programmed’ or ‘programmed.’ Non programmed decisions are usually those that are poorly structured, creative and use discretion. This type of decision is usually made at the top level of the organisation. Programmed decisions on the other hand are repetitive decisions which are well structured, governed by strict rules and done at the lower level of the organisation. The more the decision is less programmed the less the chances lower level employees will be involved.

An organization which had to make loads of quick non-programmed and programmed decisions was BP because of the oil spill incident. The coastguards in the early days of the event thought that they were dealing with a minor spill from the rig. They decided to spray dispersants over the shore which is a standard procedure when an oil spill occurs (programmed decision.) However when it became apparent that thousands of gallons of oil was leaking, at this stage it became clear that the BOP (valve) which had four different ways of closing failed to work caused the leak.
Tony Hayward CEO of BP called in scientists and engineers to stop the leak. From this point forward all decisions made had a high level of uncertainty for success. For example at first scientist said it would be a quick solution to spray the dispersant directly onto the leak, however the long term effects of the spray were unknown.

Crook and Slack (1991) demonstrate that every past decision has an effect on any future decision which is made. This is true...

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