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Ethics and Core Values

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Recently we took an assessment in class which had no correct or incorrect answers the purpose was to see the difference in others core values. I will discuss each scenario in length to discuss core values from my perspective as well as the authors. Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. The core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong; they can help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their business goals; and they create an unwavering and unchanging guide. The ethical values I will be highlighting are honesty, responsibility, trust, citizenship, and integrity The first scenario was two of the office employees often provide their children with school supplies from the office. Individuals have different reasons as to why they feel certain things are okay to do with several rationalizations to back them up.

These rationalizations don’t justify this doing it simply shows how far too many have fallen down the slippery slope of unethical decision making that turns to illegal decisions. The key to making an ethical decision is being honesty. Second scenario, a coworker was promoted to a position in another department, but the other employee who was also a candidate in the hiring process feels they were equally qualified, but the selected candidate is a long time friend of the hiring manager, and favoritism was suspected. My first initial thought was okay they were equally qualified, therefore it really doesn’t matter who is chosen. The fact that the hiring manager is closest to the person hired does not matter to me, in my opinion you would rather hire someone you see fit for the position. In the business world of ethics decisions should not be made on the basis of friendship but instead qualifications.

The underlying ethical issue here is responsibility, speaking up without fear of retribution and report concerns in the work place. Many times people are too afraid of losing their own job if they speak up. Third scenario, a manager is repeatedly borrowing money from her workers and I said that I would request the Ethics officer to get involved to conduct an investigation of the matter. The initial first thing to do was call in the subordinates to hear their side of the story then hear from the manager. I chose my answer based off of being anonymous when allowing someone else to handle it other than your own self. The underlying ethical issue here is trust, building confidence through team work and open, candid communication. Fourth scenario, you have been temporarily assigned to a large program involving foreign military customers. During a session, the program manager assigns you to host a dinner at a local restaurant, as part of a program preview with the customer.

The manager gives you a suggested menu that turns out to be $74.00 per person. I chose the option to follow the manager’s instructions, but the best response was to contact the company legal counsel for guidance. The Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) prohibits corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. The underlying ethical issue is citizenship, obey all of the laws the United States and other countries in which you do business, and do your part to make the communities for which we live and work better. The Fifth scenario, you’re on a team that is responsible for testing a new product that must pass a 70 percent success rate under conditions of heavy use, you know that everyday use will never amount to the extreme conditions of your test. I said I would not approve the product because company testing standards have been established for good reasons. This turned out to be the best answer with the underlying ethical value integrity, saying what we mean, delivering what we promise, and to stand for what is right.

The sixth scenario, a work team submitted a suggestion program, but some of the employees were laid off before the plan was adopted. How should the award payment be distributed? Considering the individuals who worked for it are not longer employed with this company. I said I would divide it equally among the members still on the team the best answer was divide it among all former team members whether they are still there or not. I chose my answer from working in an organization where if the employee not longer works there they are compensated for anything there. The underlying issue here is honesty, being honest with one another and our customers, communities, suppliers, and shareholders. The seventh scenario, on the bus going home one night a women mentions to you that she is being sexually harassed by one of
her fellow employees, although she does not work for you, you both work for the same company, where you are the manager.

I chose to counsel her to report the issue to HR, and accompany her there. The best answer was to take it upon your own self to call HR, the legal department, or the ethics office directly. I chose my answer based off working in an office where there are so many stipulations to one reporting sexual harassment, and there were not enough details for me to go straight to HR she told me what was happening but she didn’t tell me what she was doing to stop it. Therefore, I made my decision based off the assumption that she had not taken the proper steps to stop this. The underlying ethical value is respect, treating one another with dignity and fairness, appreciating the diversity our workforce and uniqueness of each employee. The eighth scenario, Employees have noticed that the supervisor spends a good portion of his day doing homework for a company-sponsored college course. He also spends a significant amount of time making phone calls they suspect are personal. I chose to raise the issue directly with your supervisor, which in real life I would never do.

A lot of supervisors tend to have a do what I say not what I do attitude instead of leading by example. So raising a complaint about someone who is higher than you directly to their face it not a good idea to me. The underlying ethical issue is trust building confidence through teamwork and open, candid communication. The ninth scenario, One of your companies vendors who have been used for some years now, has comes to give you and your manager a gift a rather expensive disk drive. Your manager thanks him and doesn’t appear to give it much thought. I said I would tell the representative that accepting the gift would not be consistent with my company policies, and I would respectfully decline.

This answer turned out to be the best answer with the underlying ethical value integrity, saying what you mean and standing for what is right. The last scenario, say you work in Quality Assurance (QA) and you rejected some parts as non-conforming to specifications. Your manager told you to accept it as is. I chose to call the ethics hotline, the best answer was to discuss it with your manager and I agree that this is the best answer. The underlying ethical value is responsibility. After precisely viewing each scenario I can see how ethics coincide with core values. Business ethics does not always fall in line with your personal perspective of a situation, however when is business decisions should be made off of just that. Therefore, as a manager it is important to know the ethics and core values expected at that organization.

Ciulla, Joanne B., ed. Ethics, the heart of leadership. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 1998.

Peale, Norman Vincent and Kenneth H. Blanchard, The Power of Ethical Management., New York: W Morrow, 1988.

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