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Is Management Within A Business Ethical?

2971 words - 12 pages

Is Management within a Business Ethical?
In this essay I am going to argue and focus on how management within businesses and corporations are frequently unethical nevertheless necessary. In Section One I am going to argue that the way in which management is exercised is to some extent designed to be unethical. Through the use of W D Ross and Immanuel Kant (1785) I am going to outline ethics and employ Roberts, J. (1984) and Milgram’s (1974) works to display how management can be seen as not ethical. In Section Two I aim to reveal that not only the exercise of management is dissolute but individual managers themselves operate unethically as well. To confirm this I am going to mainly refer to ...view middle of the document...

If management’s acts are solely for their own benefit then no. Management’s treatment of employees and workers today violate what W D Ross is saying in terms of being ethical. Another Philosopher Immanuel Kant (1785) had his work translated and this was the outcome “Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your person or that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.” (Ellington, 1993: 36) Kant is saying that morality requires respect . Employees have dignity compared to machines and capital, which do not and hence are capable of moral activity. By exerting coercive and non-coercive power, by using authority and having power over peoples lives even for their own advantage can not be seen as ethical. Although people may accept these actions for many different reasons, it does not mean they are ethical.
Through the readings of Roberts, J. (1984) I have identified more examples of how management within businesses are a “moral concern”. In his work he demonstrates that managers see themselves are “ethically neutral” although this is not the case. Roberts, J. provides us with a case study explaining how managers provide benefits to the company and not the employees; they have the business’s best interest at hand. There is a contrast between Val and Dave’s management styles illustrated to the reader however Roberts, J. highlights they both aim to achieve the same result. Firstly Dave the first manager uses a “detached” approach with his staff distancing himself from them on a personal level. He is more interested in how they performed in the work place than their daily lives and feelings and beliefs. Val (the second manager) on the other hand initially belittled her staff and treated them like “little kids” but then changed her approach. She became closer to her staff after working with them for a long period of time and let them make decisions for themselves. Her choice to change management styles was for the companies benefit and improving performance seen by her saying “I’m not going to get anything out of them unless I do have that relationship..”(Roberts, 1984: 294) She needed their trust in order for them to produce good results. What both Val and Dave had in common was they used their power as a manager to direct their staff to produce the best results for the company. Although they used different methods they both influenced and had control over their employees to help the business and fulfill their own individual welfare. Roberts shows through these examples how management and its structure within a business can often be unethical.
Management often feels that because of their position and authorization over employees they have the ability to exercise power and control, but who says that management in a business has this right? Are these actions even considered ethical? Milgrams (1974) work highlights the influence of power and authority on employees. He carried out an experiment where people thought they were being tested...

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