This paper aims to describe an ethical issue and apply it to six ethical decision making steps namely issue clarification, stakeholder analysis, values identification, issue resolution, addressing objections and resolution implementation. Main Body The ethical issue that will be discussed is giving out unacceptable levels of air and water pollution during the production process by an organization’s factories. In order to effectively resolve the issue, the organization needs to change its production processes so that its social cost is not that high and at the same time the organization will profit from it.
Issue Clarification The first step in resolution of organizational ethics issue is to properly defining the problem in detail and discussing it with all the related members of the organization. The definition must be clear, specific and based on the best available information. Then all the people who are getting affected by this issue must be identified. Once this is done, the consequences of this issue must be discussed in detail. Another very important matter that must be dealt with is information needs. This will help the organization understand the nature of the issue at hand.
Lastly, the importance of solving this issue must be evaluated so that it can be given a priority. (Michigan State University Extension, 1994) In our case, the issue at hand is pollution. The company’s factories give out a lot of smoke in the atmosphere and also the rivers and canals around the factories are being contaminated by the dumping of chemical waste in them. Because of the rising problem of global warming, air pollution is an issue of great concern. The water from the rivers and canals around the factory is not usable any more.
The dumping of chemical waste in the river waters has resulted in no clean water for the housing societies in the locality. After seeing all this, a lot of Non Government Organizations have suggested measures that will reduce the pollution that is given out. In addition to this, the government is also planning on imposing laws that will limit the amount of pollution that is given out. Organizations that give out pollution above the acceptable level will be heavily taxed. Those involved and who are affected include the people of the neighborhood, environmentalist, government and the society as a whole.
Stakeholder Analysis Stakeholder Analysis is a process in which the Stakeholders are defined and their importance in the whole decision making process is evaluated. Stakeholders are all those groups that will affect and get affected by an organization’s decisions. Examples include government, community, employees, shareholders etc. In order to resolve organizational ethics issue effectively, it is absolutely essential for an organization to win support from these groups. There are four steps to how this procedure must be carried out. First of all, your stakeholders must be identified.
Secondly, you will prioritize them and next the organization will attempt to understand their most important stakeholders (MindTools, 2008). Lastly, all the support that we can get from these stakeholders will be assessed and ways to reduce opposition from some of them will also be considered. The stakeholders involved in our case will be the public, senior executives, press, government and non-government organizations, customers, prospective customers, and lastly trade unions. This list is prioritized, the first one being the most important. They are prioritized according to the amount of interest and power they have on the organization.
The stakeholders with high levels of power and interest must be managed closely and be kept satisfied. All these groups are affected by the organization’s decisions and they also have influence over these. The organization will also get support from all these stakeholders. Public will be supportive because decrease in pollution will directly benefit them. Senior executive will also supportive because through press, the company’s brand image will improve and because of this, the customers and potential customers will go for the company’s products.
Lastly, we will try to understand these stakeholders and how they feel about the decision and the ethical issue. This can be done with the help of interviews and other means of communication. This understanding will help in more accurately prioritizing the stakeholders. Values identification The third step in the decision making process would be identification of the organizational values. Every organization has its own values. These values set standards according to which every individual in the organization must behave.
If these standards are not set, everyone will behave according to their individual values which will disrupt the workplace’s environment. Therefore, it is essential to identify and understand the importance of these values. These values could include honesty, professionalism, teamwork, etc. These values differentiate between the right from wrong, therefore only once we have identified these values, we will be able to resolve organizational ethics issues. (National Defense University, 2006) These values will help us decide whether the issue unethical or not and if the actions of the organization are against the organization’s moral values.
In our hypothetical situation, the organization will come together in order to identify its organizational values. The possible values that could be identified would be responsibility, accountability, and professionalism. The organization must realize its responsibility towards the society, be accountable for its actions and lastly be professional in the way they handle the issue at hand. Spreading of pollution by the organizations factories is unethical because it is against its ethical values. Issue resolution This includes compiling everything discussed in the first three steps to come up with a resolution which will resolve the issue.
It will include a detailed solution which will cover all the aspects of the ethical issue. This is the most important step in the whole decision making process because this step outlines the complete strategic plan of the organization. After considering the issue, stakeholders and the moral values of the company, the next step is coming up with a resolution. The organization must firstly change its production process so that the pollution it is giving out can be limited. This will require a lot of capital. The Organization at this stage must decide on how this capital will raised.
Also, another way of the getting rid of chemical waste that is dumped in rivers must be employed. Next, the organization should ensure that greener products are produced and recycled material should be used for packaging. It should involve the press, so that the community will know about this operation of the organization. Addressing objections The next step in decision making is one of the most difficult to handle as it involves understanding others. This step includes efficiently, powerfully, professionally and competently addressing objections to the decision or the resolution the organization has come up with.
There are various groups that might object to this decision. It is the goal of the decision-makers to carefully listen and understand these objections and then addressing to them appropriately. This step is not over until the ones objecting are satisfied with the justification given to them. In our case, one important group that might object to this decision would be the senior executives or the investors who will have to provide for this new project. They might object because the capital required for this new project would be very high and they would want to be satisfied before they invest.
These groups need to be assured that this project might cost a lot to the company, but in the long term, it will not only benefit the society but will also benefit the organization itself. Decreasing pollution will improve the brand image of the company which might increase its market share. Plus, in future, when the government will impose laws and taxes on giving out of pollution, the organization will benefit as they will be able to avoid it. They must be given confidence in their investment. Resolution implementation After all the five steps, one very important step is resolution implementation.
The decision must be implemented in order for it to be effective. The organization officials can do so by arranging a meeting that will involve everyone working for the organization. Especially, those who are new to the organization must attend these. In this meeting, the resolution must be discussed with everyone in the organization. They must be told the drill and how the organization plans on tackling the situation. At this stage, suggestions from everyone from the organizations would be welcomed as these might help the organization to come up with a better decision. Along with this, the importance of it must be emphasized.
It must be made clear that it is important to follow these guidelines at all times, otherwise serious measures will be taken against those who breech it. Finally, workers must be monitored and supervised to know if the ethical standards are being met. At the same times, the effectiveness of the measures introduced must also be checked. The workers could be given feedback on how they are doing keeping up with it, good or bad. They must be appreciated and a reward system must be developed if they manage to follow them. This will motivate them to follow the instructions without supervision in future.
An ethics performance evaluation should be developed. This will look at how the organization has behaved. This would enable the organization to examine whether its actions and decisions are consistent with its purpose and moral values. (Miriam Schulman, 2008) Also training must be giving if it is required. Conclusion The new policy will definitely have a positive effect on the organization. It gives a good impression of the organization where ethics and values are of the utmost importance. It gives employees the impression that the organization is serious about meeting ethical standards. This promotes values amongst them.
However, on the other hand, it may cause dissent. It could be too hard to follow. This could lead to the workers being discouraged to perform even basic work. The reactions of the employees should be positive but it could be anything depending on the code. After all the discussion, the importance for an organization to meet ethical standards is very clear. Therefore, the organization must do all it takes to meet these standards before they make a decision. During decision making, an organization will greatly benefit if it follows a systematic procedure to develop these ethical standards by following the steps given above.