According to the textbook Fundamentals of Management by Ricky Griffon, ethical behavior is in the eye of the beholder, the term usually refers to behavior that conforms to generally accepted social norms. (Griffon, 2016) Unethical behavior is a behavior that does not conform to generally accepted social norms. (Griffon, 2016) Both behaviors in any situation forces a person to choose between either or behaviors, which both are honorable but are dealt with in conflict.
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As reported by an article from Taylor & Francis Online, the word ethics refers to accepted principles of right or wrong that govern the conduct of a person, the members of a profession, or the actions of an organization. (Bayaga, 2017) There are ethical dilemmas in place in every situation due to every individual’s morals being different from others, some things people may find immoral others would find it morally correct.
According to an Emerald Insight article, ethical theories are effective in ethical leadership, which displays the eight leadership approaches such as: directive leadership, authentic leadership, charismatic leadership, servant leadership, transactional leadership self-leadership, shared leadership and transformational leadership. (Dion,2012) I believe Barbara displayed self-leadership, she knew what she was capable of and knew what the influence of her actions would have on herself and the company long-term. The determinants of individual ethics are family influences, situational factors, values and morals, experiences and peer influences. (Griffon, 2016)
These factors determine how individuals think regarding any situation that’s faced, although that person is in the situation, it can affect everything around them. In this scenario, Barbara is risking everything such as career, independence, reputation and her integrity which is related to the situational factors, peer influences and values and morals of herself. The three general theories analysis of ethics are consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics. For this scenario, one ethic that stood out is consequentialist ethics which is the moral content of an action is determined by the real and expected consequences of that action. (Kaptein and Wempe, 2002)
Throughout the scenario, Barbara’s actions aren’t justified enough when it comes to being immoral and morally correct and serves for a consequence such as termination of the company. Although in her opinion she justified why she did it due to the salary and benefits being great at the company, this still does not make it right. The ethical dilemmas she faces are consequentialism and self-leadership, these two ethics are majority self-driven ethics of her actions. I believe Barbara’s actions are immoral for many reasons, after her noticing something was wrong with the numbers she still decided to go ahead and take one for the team. Majority of her work in this situation was self-led due to on-one stating she had to do this or she would be fired. The stakeholders of this situation are everyone, once Barbara noticed the numbers were inflated, she should have reported the issue and once her supervisors and the employees realized the issue it should’ve been up to them to address it. Because no-one addressed the issue this puts everyone at risk to lose their job, have a ruined reputation, possibly jail time and destroy the company. Based on the ethical dilemma stated, Barbara should’ve mentioned something to avoid all consequences, being that this didn’t happen it left room for error. Now her choices are very slim, after agreeing to the hip work culture, she has agreed to continue this and if she doesn’t there will be a consequence for backing out of the culture such as termination.
Although the gain from this short-term action was the company bringing in more money from the Venture capitalists, this would also damage their relationships with the capitalists and other potential donors. In a long-term action, this does hurt everyone in the company but has more effect on Barbara, if for any reason she decides this isn’t what she wants to do anymore this could change the number of the quarterly reports drastically to where they can get taught by actions of embezzlement and other illegal acts of fraud.
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