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Management Eth?ics Questions

1. What does the continous improvement process mean for business operation? Given the difficulties which managers face on their way to ethical perfection, it is clear, why the process of continuous improvement is critical for the success of all major ethical initiatives. For managers to be role models and to be able to communicate their values and standards to employees, the process of continuous improvement should be the essential component of any business operation.

Trevino and Nelson (2004) suggest that “managers can provide guidance to employees and [… ] the most important thing for managers to remember about their job as role model is that what they do is infinitely more important than what they say”. In this context, managers frequently face ethical dilemmas which are not only new to them, but require critical thinking and cooperative approaches. As a result, continous improvement turns into the tool of sustainable business development and into the source of ethical solutions.

Continuous improvement provides managers with better understanding of the role they play in the development of business and the influence they produce on their employees. Continuous improvement provides employees with better understanding of the significance of their relationships with managers. In the process of

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continuous improvement managers and executives come to realize the potential danger of ethical wrongdoing.

Finally, “companies need to reinforce their continuous improvement efforts and the skills development of their people so they are prepared for the business recovery” (Keller, 2009), and in case of ethical management and performance, continous improvement is the key to ethical and competitive recovery of businesses under the pressure of the expanding economic crisis. 2. Give me at least two current ethical issues in management. Discipline and terminations remain the two most difficult and the most ambiguous ethical issues in present day management.

To start with, managers lack objective knowledge about the most effective ways to discipline employees. According to Trevino and Nelson (2004) the discipline is expected to be constructive and to be done in professional manner. In other words, making employees disciplined is not limited to screaming and is in no way associated with physical violence. In managers’ striving to promote discipline in all organizational contexts, the latter are responsible for developing and implementing the initiatives which would be both effective and ethically sound.

Ethically sound disciplinary measures imply privacy and the growing role of two-way communication between managers and employees. For the discipline to become the critical factor of business success, managers need to be able to explain their side of the story and to encourage individuals to share their ethical opinions (Trevino & Nelson, 2004). Terminations is just another ethical issue managers face in the process of their daily interactions with employees.

Given the unpleasant nature of termination as such, and a variety of reasons for which employees tend to be terminated, managers are directly responsible for making the process of termination easier for employees. The problem of any termination ? s balancing the need for punishing the acts of wrongdoing with the need for protecting employees’ dignity and privacy. Managers are not always aware of the fact that “it’s generally improper to publicly explain why an individual has been punished” (Trevino & Nelson, 2004), and erroneously place the punitive role of terminations over the need for promoting ethics in all business operations.

It would be appropriate to say that not discipline and terminations but the need for maintaining a reasonable balance between the effectiveness of these measures and their ethical nature remains one of the most problematic ethical issues, and whether managers are able to create and promote sound ethical atmosphere at workplace depends on their understanding of what ethical complications stand behind the words “discipline” and “terminations”, and how these can be dealt with in a timely manner.

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