This paper will attempt give explanation to the organizational influences in the workplace that can cause an increase level of stress due to ethical-type decisions and technological advances. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that leadership commitment to excellence begins with the way information is outlined and how decisions directly affect the morale and overall perception of an organization. Hopefully, this paper will succeed in placing value into the critical decisions necessary to develop a strong lasting workforce that is intended to make a positive impression economically and reasonable for an effective learning business environment.
_Ethics on Decision Making_
So what is ethical? This _ethical_ argument has had scholars constantly debating to find the real meaning for generations. It is not expected to understand truly the inner-workings of ethics in this paper; however, as critical as it may seem it is something that needs constant questioning in order to bring out the best quality in everyone to support the organization’s interests. Putting this into perspective at its simplest form, asking what is right or wrong, good or bad would be a good start. Take for instance the value of integrity, an ethical influence on decision making, can affect how the organization is perceived though the public eyes and the networking impact with other organizations. To include ethical qualities in decision making is not exclusive to the private sector, it also requires participation from organizations in the public sector – as in the U.S.Army.
Americans pay tribute to Soldiers everyday as they fight for the freedoms that they so much enjoy. As they make very difficult decisions everyday, concerning life or death situations, they follow what is called the Seven Army Values. Among them is integrity; which is described as _Do what’s right, legally, and morally_. This is important for Soldiers to understand this meaning because everything that is done and accomplished is in a teamwork effort that ultimately affects the organization. The success of the mission is heavily reliant to trusting and knowing each other. After working with each other for some time, they find comfort in knowing that in tough situations, individuals can count on their team members for assistance and to _pick up the pieces_. This brings out the quality that is needed to further support the spirit that needs embracing; which creates the ethical quality necessary to keep the team integrity intact.
Leaders of all levels have goals and expectations of each other in the business environment which should be clearly defined to our teams. Unfortunately, this is not always the case which weakens the expected ethical quality. When establishing a plan with a clear vision, the fundamental premise of the plan is that each member has an obligation to act in the best interest of the organization and in support of its mission, and must not allow outside activities or financial interests interfere with those obligations. This is a real condition that has huge ramifications because the mere appearances if improper behavior can render unethical acts, thus opening the door for unwelcome publicity to an organization.
Take for instance the recent dealings between Halliburton and the U.S. government. Vice-President Cheney previously served as chief executive officer of Halliburton, a Dallas oil-services giant, which he is currently receiving deferred compensation which the government would not “specify how large his payment will be this year or how long the payments will continue” (Lazarus 2002). The perceived ethical conflict is clear for it de-values the principles of an organization that is wishes to uphold. This value is integrity, either legal or not, it is a principle that affects an organization’s morale which has a deeper connection of how an organization will further network with others in the pursuit of strategic growth.
_Affects of Technology on Stress_
There is no question that technology has changed the way we do business- which includes communications and deliverables. As a result, there are service demands from partners and consumers that must be fulfilled in order to keep competitive and reliability in the fast paced networking environment. Therefore, the technology we rely on adds stress to any organization that wishes to progressively look into improving their efficiency and effectiveness. The advancements in technology is intended to facilitate production and minimize operations costs in order to keep up with the increasing demands. However, with the growing trends of demand and technology, valuable training to use newer forms of technology became a second priority. In addition, people are spending less time with family and working longer hours which have also increased the work-related stress levels.
A research conducted by the Kensington Technology Group (1999) stated that “51 percent of them (employees) report that the possibility of losing documents due to computer crashes” is also a factor to work-related stress. Due to this trend in organizational behavior, the leadership in any organization must realize that they must proactively discuss the usage of technological practicality and not always assume employees will directly complain about work-related stress caused by technological advancements. The leadership team must establish a caring-system for its employees because it ultimately affects their productivity and bottom-line. The operations of the organization rely on fresh-progressive minds that cannot function under immense levels of poor judgment that results in poor customer care. Some signs that include “lower commitment, increased conflict and absenteeism” (Davies, 2005) are indicators that employees are not focused on organizational goals, but rather on finding ways to survive another day.
As organizational leaders understand that technological advancements is the way of the competitive future, one of the first steps to ensure competitiveness is to furnish and properly train their employees with that technology. In doing so, initiating new systems into the workplace must be communicated in ways that explains why the changes are necessary allowing the opportunity to minimize any confusion or misinterpretation that is intended to build a stronger and more efficient organization. The importance of training employees in technological usage makes simple business sense.
According to the National Small Business Association (NSBA, 2006) it estimates “one-third of companies (37%) are engaged in e-commerce, including 52% of businesses in the retail industry and 50% of those in manufacturing”; meaning that the use of technology is a critical component of networking, coordinating and marketing to the wide range of consumers. Of the organizations surveyed by NSBA, 89% of them will rely on technological advancements for strategic growth. Setting an internal training program is an option that can create an enhanced and developed employee on technical skills necessary to focus on potential organizational needs rather than reacting to increased stress levels and technological support concerns.
The information provided by this paper demonstrates the necessity of competent leaders to measure influential effectiveness of a decision by creating an optimal working environment that would facilitate a long lasting impression for future opportunities. Therefore, ethical decision making and leveraging mitigating stress factors is a way to minimize negative impacts that yield high organizational costs such as reduction of effort by employees to complete tasks, perceptions and strategic support that would otherwise be a fundamental business approach for success.
Bodwell, D.J. (2002). High performance teams. Retrieved October 12, 2007, from the High Performance Teams Website: http://ptcpartners.com/Team/home.htm
Davies, R. (2005). Don’t stress. Engineering Management, 15(1), p 20-23. Retrieved October 14, 2007, from University of Phoenix EBSChost Database
Kensington Technology Group. (1999). Technology increases workplace stress, tipping the scales of work-life balance. BusinessWire. Retrieved October 12, 2007, from the BusinessWire Website:
Lazarus, David (2002). Conflict of interest for vice president? Retrieved October 12, 2007, from the San Francisco Chronicle Website:
McCracken, T. & Willey, G.(2007). NSBA: survey of small and mid-sized businesses. National Small Business Association. Retrieved October 14, 2007, from http://www.nsba.biz/docs/surveynewfinal.pdf
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