If you were Morris, and if Taylor had been a conscientious employee in all other areas, would you still have fired Taylor for committing theft? Why or why not? If I were Morris I would fire Taylor regardless if he might have been a conscientious employee within the organization. Even though Taylor had the proper knowledge, skills, and abilities that are associated for Wilton Petroleum Jelly he had a negative employee personality for the company.
The fact that Taylor displayed unethical behavior by stealing gas and a ten dollar hammer he should be terminated. As in most companies there is a policy that states the theft of company property is grounds for dismissal. The behavior of Taylor determined that he could not be trusted in the company as an employee. Furthermore, the duty of a manger is to enforce the policy of the organization in relationship to its corporate culture. In addition, the fact that Taylor was a good employee for the company did not justify the reason that he committed a crime.
Fortunately, Taylor should be glad that he got terminated from the company instead of facing fine or possible jail time. Also, the ten dollar hammer that was stolen validated the grounds for termination within the organization. Taylor tried to take the a hammer that was worth 10 dollars so he should be charge for the hammer along with the fees of the amount of gas that he stole from the company. There is no reason for Taylor to continue to work for the organization since he is clearly taking advantage of the company for his own personal gain. Employee theft is a problem in which a business can lose thousands of dollars per year.
According to the authors Thomas, Kimberly, Jones, et al (2001) there was a relationship associated with employee theft and turnover rates in the restaurant industry. In some cases employees that were likely to steal, would to steal if they were leaving in two weeks than leave within a year of an organization. Equally important, in a company one of roles of an organizational psychologist is to try to understand employee behaviors. The knowledge of employee behaviors may eliminate employees from stealing in the future. Thus, Morris should discuss the incident about the theft to Taylor to find out the reason why Taylor stole from the company before terminating him. Next, do you think Taylor “got what was coming to him” in this case, or was he “set up” by Morris and thus was a victim of entrapment?
Even though Morris did set him up within the company it did not excuse the fact that Taylor committed a crime at Wilton Petroleum Jelly. As in most companies the security department and managers are not capable of watching employees all the time. In some circumstances it is the employees that are the ones that report thefts that occur in most organizations. In the business Taylor knew he was committing a crime by stealing the gas in the company. Likewise, Taylor was not aware that he was being set up for entrapment which occurs in most companies, and there are notifications of video surveillance on the premises of organizations.
Morris may have had an ulterior motive in which he was trying to get Taylor terminated. Equally important, Taylor was not terminated for taking hundreds of dollars’ worth of gas he was terminated for the theft of a hammer. Further, there is a possibility that Taylor might not have been terminated had he not stolen the hammer. Taylor was a victim of entrapment but that does not validate his actions of company theft. Taylor may want to argue that he was setup by Morris and he might have not stolen the hammer in the first place.
The problem that Taylor would have to present would be his explanation for stealing company property on his own defense. In reference to the author Dekker (2004) in order to terminate an employee fairly and employer needs to have substantial evidence against the employee. The used of devices such as cameras, telephone tapping, are substantial for employee termination. There are companies that invest thousands of dollars on security systems to reduce employee theft within their organization. Therefore, even though Taylor was entrapped he still violated company policy be stealing from Wilton Petroleum Jelly. Also, do you think that spying on the employees with peepholes and cameras to detect theft or other crime violates an ethical business principle? Why do you feel as you do?
The spying of employees with though there knowledge is an invasion privacy. On the other hand, there are circumstances where it might be necessary in order to capture employees that commit corporate crimes. In a company employees need to be aware that they are observed within the company. The process of using cameras is a good theft deterrent to save company cost and create a safer workplace environment. Further, ethics should be considered where to draw the line as far as employee surveillance. Unfortunately, in society there are many crimes that occur in the workplace that are more serious than employee theft. There are some organizations in which employees are searched when they come to work and before they leave the company. The organization should try to take all measures to prevent crimes from occurring ethically.
The ethical business principles should be within the legalities of the law when it comes to video surveillance. An employee should not have to be viewed through peepholes without there knowledge. A policy needs to be developed in which all cases of surveillance are covered so the employee is well aware they are being watched. There are places that employees should never be observed such as in restrooms which would be considered unethical. The authors Crossen (1993) in most companies the solution to unethical behaviors is the monitoring of and searches of employees. The strategy may come at the privacy of the employee. Finally, the observation of employees should be ethical so that the employees’ rights are not violated. Too, what effect might Taylor’s dismissal by the company have on other employees?
The effects of Taylor’s dismissals will cause employees to think twice about stealing from the organization. Taylor could be used as an example as to what happens when an employee steals from Wilton Petroleum Jelly. In a sense Morris tried his best to prevent stealing from occurring within the business by reporting the actions that happened. The actions of Morris can create a more ethical business because employees will feel as if their being monitored. Morris was determined to try every way possible to reduce unethical behaviors.
There are some companies in which a personality test is given in regards to organizational theft. Unfortunately, there are some employees that have to follow the actions of others within a positive or negative manner. The dismissal of the Taylor would most likely be stated to new hires that they could get caught not matter how hard they try to conceal unethical behavior. According to the authors Victor, Trevino, Shapiro, et al (1993) the reporting of a theft by a peer that may have been associated with
organizational responsibility, the interest of group associates, and perceptions of justice.
Actual reporting of negative behaviors was more likely to occur when peers with retribution of justice. In conclusion, the example of the employee getting terminated from the company may cause prevention. The employees may feel as if they would get caught since they do not know when their being observed within the business. The example of Taylor is beneficial in the prevention of future employee thefts in Wilton Petroleum Company.
Crossen, B. R. (1993). Managing employee unethical behavior without invading individual privacy. Journal of Business and Psychology, 8(2), 227-243. Dekker, A. (2004). Vices or Devices: Employee Monitoring in the Workplace. S. Afr. Mercantile LJ, 16, 622.
Thoms, P., Wolper, P., Scott, K. S., & Jones, D. (2001). The relationship between immediate turnover and employee theft in the restaurant industry. Journal of Business and Psychology, 15(4), 561-577.
Victor, B., Treviño, L. K., & Shapiro, D. L. (1993). Peer reporting of unethical behavior: The influence of justice evaluations and social context factors. Journal of Business Ethics, 12(4), 253-263.