How Personal Can Ethics Get?

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Date Submitted: 04/26/2011 03:22 PM

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How Personal Can Ethics Get?


Valerie Young is a marketing manager at Wisson, an international cosmetics and fragrance company based in Chicago. Valerie is working on a special visa, which gives non-U.S. citizens the ability to work in the United States for a certain period of time. Valerie has a big decision to make that will challenge her own personal ethical values and beliefs. Valerie has discovered that her boss, Mr. Waters, is accepting kickbacks from two of his suppliers. Valerie’s knowledge of this has put her in an awkward position. If she reports this immediately she may lose her job and be forced to leave the country. Should she report this unethical behavior and risk be deported or remain quiet to keep her job with the company?

Question #1: Discuss how personal differences and preference can impact organizational ethics.

Ethics is defined as the values and principles that help individuals distinguish right from wrong (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2010). Every person is unique with different moral values and principles that they believe to be right. In an organization, every employee faces ethical issues on a daily basis. Everyone has their own understanding of what the rules are in an organization that pertains to ethics. An individual who has more empathy is more likely to stimulate moral action, possibly because it is more difficult to take advantage of people once you have considered their feelings (Cohen, 2010). For example, an employee who witnesses another employee taking a couple of pens from the supply room may not think it’s a big deal where another employee may see the action as stealing from the company even though it is only a couple of pens. Kohlberg’s model of moral development is great for organizations because it gives them a guideline to use on determining how all employees of an organization view ethical and unethical behavior. There are those individuals who always do the right thing because they are afraid of...