Post one MS
Ethical behavior is described as the behavior deemed good, right, honorable, just, and praiseworthy. The opposite of such behavior is called unethical behavior, which are characterized as wrong, unjust, dishonorable, and does not meet an obligation (Champoux, 2017). There are four major ethics theories that are popular in the Western world and are applied in understanding organizational behavior. These theories are: utilitarianism, rights-based ethics, justice-based ethics, and egoism.
Utilitarianism posits that an action is morally right if its total net benefit outweighs or exceeds the total net benefit of any other possible action (Champoux, 2017). Rights-based ethics centers on a person’s just claim or entitlement, which exist because of a legal system or an ethical standards. According to Champoux (2017), moral philosophers believe that there are negative rights or the duty not to interfere with another person’s rights, and positive rights or the duty to help other freely pursue a right. Meanwhile, justice-based ethics uses comparison and looks at the benefits and burdens experienced by members of a group resulting from the application of laws, policies, and rules (Champoux, 2017). If an action causes any injustices despite its benefits to some members of the society, it is not considered ethical. Lastly, egoism is said to have two forms: individual ethical egoism and universal ethical egoism. According to Champoux (2017), for individual ethical egoism, a person is asked to judge their actions based on its effects on their interest. Meanwhile, universal ethical egoism, asks a person to weigh the effects of the action on their interest. It can also involve weighing the effect of the action on the interests of others.
In the military, ethics is complex. Ethical decision-making involves balancing moral obligations related to a just cause, minimizing harm to innocent and protecting soldiers (Pfaff, 2016). In a way, it is a rights-based perspective since military actions can be justified as helping the government and its people pursue their right. The results of military actions should not be used to assess the military actions itself. However, it is important to note that soldiers are able to commit to humanitarian concerns while also prosecuting war.
Moving on with the discussion, let’s focus on organizational culture. This is characterized as a complex and deep aspect of organizations that have strong influence on organizational members. Organizational culture includes content that employees have to be familiar with to become an accepted member of the organization. This content includes values, beliefs, norms, rituals, rites, ceremonies, and notable people (Champoux, 2017). Organizational culture can be created and changed based on the experiences of the group in relation to their external environment. It can also stem from building a system of internal coordination which has its own culture.
Champoux, J. E. (2017). Organizational Behavior: Integrating Individuals, Groups, and Organizations (5th ed). Routledge.
Pfaff, C. A. (2016). Five myths about military ethics. The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters, 46(3), 8.
Post two JN
Good afternoon Professor and class,
The four major theories of organizational ethical behavior are:
1. Utilitarianism: Askes the individual to exam and action and its effect to determine if it is right or not. The action is ethically right if the total net benefit surpasses the total net benefit of any other action. This assumes that the individual decision maker can and does calculate the cost of their actions and the possible other variables. The action the person lands on will be considered right if the benefit yields the most for all parties involved (Champoux, 2016).
2. Right based ethics: This form of ethical behavior gets its stance from legal or moral codes that exist in an organization, culture, or laid down by the government. Having moral or legal rights give individuals guidelines in which to pursue their goals or carry out obligations. Contrary to a Utilitarianism view Rights based ethics it does not necessarily matter how many people benefit from an action. If the action falls within the legal and moral standards than it is right even if it represents a minority over a majority (Champoux, 2016).
3. Distributed justice: Here for an action to be considered just it should not cause a form of injustice on another member of a group even if other members benefit from an action. John Rawls proposed a theory of distributive justice which held three principles The principle of equal liberty, The difference principle, and The principle of fair equality of opportunity (Champoux, 2016).
4. Egoism: The oldest of the ethical systems in Western society is divided into two forms Individual ethical egoism and Universal ethical egoism. Individual “asks a person to judge his actions only by their effects on his interests. Because this form of egoism never considers other people’s interests” (Champoux, 2016). Universal may consider how their actions will impact other individuals or the group as a whole.
Since I began my master’s degree program the discussion of ethics has been more prevalent than in any other field I have studied. The area I have been most interested in was conflicts between your own organization and ethics. Public organization such as the military and fire department I have belonged to have clear ethical guidelines. When I joined both I was given classes on their ethical principles and given written documentation so as to refer back to when I needed guidance. Even in these organizations I have witnessed ethical lapses in judgement. On the fire department I have seen incidents of unfair discrimination, mistreatment of subordinates and patients, and issues with maintaining confidentiality (Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2017).
On my end I have never been shy to bring up those issues to my superiors, however when you are the lowest rung on the ladder you never know if it lands where it should. At the very least I always knew I followed my organization’s ethics and reported my concerns. I do think that some are swept under the rug and made to disappear. There is also the possibility that I did not see the whole picture and after an investigation this was discovered. On the military side I have also seen breaches in our ethical codes of conduct. Mistreatment of subordinates or unprofessional relationships have made up the bulk of what I can remember witnessing. There have been many early on in my career that were made to go away and after seeing that repeated over time it has a negative effect on organizational morale. Thankfully it has gotten better over the years through education and stricter policy enforcement along with a cultural shift in our society.
Champoux, J. E. (2016). Organizational Behavior: Integrating Individuals, Groups, and Organizations (5th ed.). Routledge.
Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. (2017, January 1). American Psychological Association.
Post three AM
Watch the video on making hard choices and determine what you would be willing to do or not do for your organization.
At the beginning of the video, when Chang mentioned making hard choices such a where to live, this is something my wife and I have been discussing at least for the past 6 months. There are so many factors that come into play, with our most important ones being access to VA medical facilities, distance to home (she’s from Alabama and I’m from Virginia), and employment opportunities. When it comes to making hard choices from an organizational standpoint, the decisions can and will impact the livelihood of others outside of one’s household. I think the hardest thing to do is to determine which department is going to have to be eliminated due to budget cuts or because that department isn’t performing to its expectations. A decision like this is going to result in terminations, the hard part would be determining how many are getting terminated and how many are being reassigned.
Are the lines cut and dried or is there ambiguity when discussing ethical behavior in the workplace?
Sadly, the lines of ethical behavior aren’t as cut and dry as one may thing they should be. Then again, one may think that such behaviors should not have to be written out or explained in such detail, rather it should be an innate humanistic characteristic. Thinking about things from a personal standpoint is not the same as thinking of them from an corporate or organizational one. For example, something as simple as using a friend’s computer for our personal business may not b a big deal. However, using your organization’s computer for personal affairs, such as browsing social media or car or house searching, can be a violation of company policy.
Can you think of some examples in your own experience where ethical behavior impacted the culture of your organization?
I can reference the various types of leadership I have seen throughout my military career, and whether it impacted me directly or indirectly. However, there is one incident that I immediately comes to mind from when I was stationed in Germany (Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment). Myself and another guy in my platoon where scheduled to take The Adult Basic Education (TABE) test in February 2012 to improved our General Technical scores. My platoon sergeant called me to ask if we were still had it scheduled and told me to cancel it, but didn’t give any explanation why. Leaving in 10 days to go to Kosovo was the reason why and we had stuff to do. Within that timeframe we conducted hours of crowd and riot control training, still not knowing WHY we were going. Even when we landed in country, we still had know idea why we were there, but f course, leadership knew. A day or two after getting there, we find out that 17 NCOs and Officers were relieved for hazing. Needless to say, this kind of behavior has a lasting impact on the organization, the United States Army. It shows that this organization in the United States military is undisciplined and smears the face of the country with no regard. Sadly, things like this happen more than it is publicized, however, I think the fact that where it occurred is why it received the attention it did. Below, I have attached the initial article about the incident and the article following the trials of some that were involved.
Respond to the discussion questions: List and define the four major theories of organizational ethical behavior.
The four major theories of organizational ethical behavior are: Utilitarianism, which is a theory centered o the premise that “the good” is to be defined as that which brings the greatest amount or degree of happiness (dictionary.apa.org). Right based ethics is a person’s just claim or entitlement. Right based ethics can have legal and ethical ramifications. An example of this would be stealing, as it is against the legal and moral laws. Distributed justice is centered on the principles of equal liberty (basic liberties are the same for all), the difference principle (offer help to others), and the principle of fair equity of opportunity (everyone has the same chances at the best societal positions)(Champoux, 2016). Egoism is a personality characteristic centered (or tarnished) by selfishness and behaviors based on self-interest with disregard to the needs of others (dictonary.apa.org).
Reflect on your work experience. Provide at least one example of one of the theories from your experience or from a scholarly article.
I have a theory of my own that we all have been guilty of even the smallest right based ethical violation. For example, we may have all acquired pens, sticky notes, and other stationary items that may go unnoticed from the office. I think people may see others as being egotistical when they aren’t agreeing with or doing what others want them to do or agreeing with what they want do or say. This may not be the best example, but in my mind it sounds comprehensible.
What is organizational culture and how can it be created and/or changed?
Organizational culture is a complex and deep aspect of organizations that strongly affects organization members that include values, norms, rites, rituals, ceremonies, heroes, and scoundrels in the organization’s history. An organization’s culture defines the content of what a new employee needs to learn to becomes an accepted organizational member. Key aspects of organizational culture include value sharing and a structuring of experiences in an organization (Champoux, 2016). Its creation begins with upper management setting standards and implementing them in a welcoming way that promotes and enhances employee well-being.
Champoux, J. E. (2016). Organizational behavior : Integrating individuals, groups, and organizations. Taylor & Francis Group.
American Psychological Association. (2022). APA Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://dictionary.apa.org/utilitarianism
American Psychological Association. (2022). APA Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://dictionary.apa.org/egoism