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Ethical Dilemmas Essay

1985 words - 8 pages

Ethical Dilemma and Decision Making:

Abstract

Increasingly, managers are faced with the challenge to maintain ethical leadership while striving to remain competitive. More often than not, a business culture in many countries may contribute to the decay of ethics in organizations. This paper analyzes a workplace ethical dilemma using Kelly’s model of attribution theory, Adams equity theory of motivation and notes that the dilemma is a result of dysfunctional conflict. An informed ethical decision making that incorporates ethical theories is most effective. Management must avoid participating in any activities that compromise the ability to maintain a culture of ethics. Management must ...view middle of the document...

This paper will further analyze the implications of the identified workplace situation based on the research findings followed by a set of potential recommendations and a brief summary of the lessons learned.
Context
An electrical engineering company (EEC) which had residential properties as its main clientele, recruited a Director of Contracts (DOC) who had previously worked in a government agency that awarded contracts to contractors in this field. The new DOC contributed to EEC’s significant expansion with the government as the biggest client with major projects ranging from hospitals to schools. It was evident to everybody that the DOC’s work was paying off and management compensated him accordingly. However, rumors had it that his old connections in the government had something to do with the successful bids submitted by him on behalf of the company (note: bribery is customary in this culture). It was not long before the DOC realized how much influence he held in the company due to his undisputed contribution to EEC’s growth. He started demanding for perks more than those afforded his superiors. EEC management was faced with a dilemma to either decline the DOC’s demand in respect of his superiors or honor his demand for fear of losing him.
Often organizations are faced with tempting situations that they cannot resist, eventually leading them into ethical dilemmas. While every organization’s goal is to be profitable, it is management’s responsibility to attain those profits with integrity by using the right channels (Fassin, 2005).
Theoretical Framework
In an effort to identify the underlying causes of the ethical dilemma at EEC, this section of the paper will analyze the concepts of perception, motivation, conflict and ethical decision making along with the associated theories.
Perception-“is a cognitive process that enables us to understand our surroundings” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p86). This paper will utilize the Kelly’s model of causal attribution theory to better understand perception in the context of management behavior. The causal attribution theory states that people tend to assume things based on their observations (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). The Kelly’s model of attribution extends the theory with the notion that our personalities and environmental factors affect how we interpret things (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). There are two attributional biases that affect one’s ability in interpreting their observations; the fundamental attributional bias, which neglects environmental factors, and the self-serving bias, which is when people tend to give themselves praise for their accomplishments and justify their failure to environmental factors are (Goncalo & Dugid, 2008 ; Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, p.95). Self-serving bias was most likely the cause of the ethical dilemma at EEC because the DOC attributed the company’s success as his personal achievement.
Motivation-“Psychological processes that cause arousal, direction and...

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