Article critique essay
Among the most important readings in business ethics is Communication Ethics (Jaksa & Pritchard, 1994). Here, the need for ethics is discussed including the aspects of moral relativism; the crisis of confidence and the perceptions of honesty; the ethical values in communication; the respect for the word and truthfulness as a norm; moral reasoning, the moral theories such as the golden rule and moral justifications; the principle of veracity and Kant’s categorical imperatives (McPhee, 2008); the ethical implications of groupthink as well as application of ethics in organizations; and the case of withholding and disclosing information.
Ethics and Fear of firing
The article Fear of Firing illustrates the mutual ethical weaknesses between an organization and an employee in the pursuit of their legal relationships focusing on the sensitivity of both sectors in handling employment cases that are better resolved without the common misconception of malicious intents on both sides. For example, an organization that is being exhorted into documenting a paper trail to build a case for an underperforming employee puts the issue of ethics upfront is as problematic as an employer not being able to build a case for failure to conduct evaluation. On the part of the organization, terminations, which are among the most sensitive measures can often be attributed to the lack of both ethical standards in implementing Human Resource policies is as worse as the relative rationalization of abusive behaviors of employees just because there are laws protecting employees from being unnecessarily terminated. Here, the issue of how an employer can protect itself from lawsuits arising out of an overprotective state and which has led to the increase in the number of cases with punitive damages is as serious as to how an employee can shield himself from too much profit-directed measures by his employer. This ethical dilemma has now become uncommon.
The article further dissects the deep chasm between the demand for ethical behavior at all times by both employees and the organization and the prevailing trust (or mistrust) developing between these sectors in the light of current issues in HR management. Where will this mutual suspicion tit-for-tat end? Stakeholders nevertheless suffer the consequences: employers with the rising cost of sustained litigation and the employee on more drastic and retaliatory HR measures being adopted. The fear of firing has become palpable as the fear of hiring future abusive staff.
The ethical issues in the article are avoidable ones. Performance management measures are available to the employer to communicate in detail the ramifications of risk employment contracts and their productivity expectations (Edwards & Ewen, 1996). On the part of the employees, participative and formative ethical systems orientation help cushion the impact of harsh and even complacent HR policies at their end. (Shaw, 2003) Here, mutual communications (Jaksa & Pritchard, 1994) (SCU, 2009) play a significant role in upholding the ethical aftertaste of the firing and abusive issues. However, who needs to start first?
Edwards, M. & Ewen, A. (1996) 360 degree feedback. The powerful new model for employee assessment & performance improvement. New York. Amercian Management Association.
Jaksa, J. & Pritchard M. (1994). Communication ethics: Methods of Analysis. 2nd Edition, Belmont, CA. International Thomson Publishing
McPhee, I. (2008) Kant’s categorical iImperative: The Key to Telling Right from Wrong. Retrieved May 22, 2009. Website http://philosophy.suite101.com/article.cfm/kants_categorical_imperative
SCU, Corporate ethics roundtable. Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Santa Clara University James S. Kemper Foundation.Retrieved May 23, 2009. http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v8n1/corporate.html
Shaw, J. (2003). Good governance and risk. A systems approach. New York. John Wiley & Sons.