Sample Ethics Paper on Ethics and Organizational Change
Causes of Organizational Change in 1991
Organizations struggle to adapt to economic decline in the volatile environments of a global economic and political world. Across the United States, large and powerful organizations have collapsed mainly due to technological changes and competition. Thus, competition, technological innovations, professionalism, and demographics among other factors are shaping the process of organizational change and adaptation (Nielsen et al. 82). As a result, organizations have been shifting focus, modifying goals, restructuring roles and responsibilities, and developing new forms to encompass organizational redesign. Organizations survive by being compatible with environments they operate in. For example, external socioeconomic conditions influence organizations’ actions, nature, and survival tactics. As a result, businesses ought to be capable of adapting quickly for them to maintain the resources they need to survive.
In 1991, organizations were under pressure to change. The pressure originating from various sources including domestic and foreign firms was keen to impact organizations’ stakeholders and variables involving evolving societal values (Nielsen et al. 85). The speed of technological changes and growth coupled with increased costs of the generation of goods and services, designs, concepts, and enhanced educational levels and values also contributed towards exerting great pressure for organizations to change. Governmental regulations, availability of resources, imbalances of trade, and the value of the workforce also played a role in ensuring organizations changed (Nielsen et al. 85). These factors led organizations to spend more money on formulating and implementing the factors that could maintain legitimacy with societal norms and values embodied in governments, professions, and trade associations.
Continuous growth in technical knowledge increases capability and application of advanced technologies. The technologies greatly increase access to the available information. Adopting knowledge-distributing technologies and accelerating the size of the knowledge base results, however, can be more munificent and more burdensome than other factors confronting organizations (Nielsen et al. 85). For example, globalization was a critical economic phenomenon in the 1990s. Advances in communication and transportation technologies supported the globalization further increasing scientific knowledge to cause of organizational changes.
Interdependencies among organizations resulted from complexity arising from improvements in communication and transportation technologies as well as from increases in both diversity and specialization across industries. Environmental competitiveness originates from various factors including competition between old and new products. Environmental competitiveness occurs due to removal of distance barriers providing buffers from competition. More so, advanced information technologies also enable producers of goods and services to compete with domestic and international establishments. In 1991, organizations had to adapt and make changes in decision-making procedures to ensure they were rapid, complex, and frequent (Nielsen et al. 88). For example, they acquired information to make continuous and comprehensive decisions on selective information distribution to promote effective organizational changes. Thus, professionalism impacted organizational forms and managerial structures. Ultimately, the organizational changes were attributed to emerging technologies. They largely impacted organizations’ designs by influencing managerial and professional designs. Consequently, the designs had to be amended to maintain effective and functioning enterprises.
Critical Ethical Issue Organizations Address in Implementing Change Strategy
Ethical conflicts are pervasive among organizations as they try to do more while experiencing changes and accessing limited resources. Organizations that fail to achieve what they believe or consider as the correct action as they experience changes can suffer from moral distress. For example, organizations produce real organizational changes while facing and dealing with ethical issues likely to harm participants in the firm. As a result, organizations should strive to eliminate the moral distress likely to hinder them from identifying and acquiring the new goals that can actively recognize and address issues during organizational changes. For example, managers should assist their subordinates to recognize moral distress among employees. Subsequently, they should assist them to identify the resources that can address moral distress. Participants and values of an organization can embrace changes and play a vital role of ensuring appropriate redesigns that ought to be embraced is fulfilled. Organizational changes can be challenging for employees as they have to experience a situation within the work environment they neither anticipated nor were ready to face (Nielsen et al. 85). Some employees regard organizational changes as a form of bullying or disaster as they have to change how they help the firm to attain its goals. As a result, distressed employees can raise ethical concerns as they try to find new and effective ways of dealing with organizational changes.
Furthermore, businesses can experience ethical challenges as they try to improve outcomes of organizational change. Moral distress can also adversely affect employees by increasing their burnout and job turnover rates (Nielsen et al. 85). As a result, managers should set the tone for organizational changes to make sure employees identify and access the resources creating a stable environment to embrace appropriate and necessary changes. Thus, organizational leaders should support and guide employees, participants, values, and resources of the organization to create an environment embracing changes.
Other Ethical Issues for Consideration in Implementing Organizational Change
Business ethics refer to ethical values applied to enhance business behaviors. They influence human resources, financial strategies, and how an organization’s leadership can effectively implement good ethical practices. For example, managers ought to ensure employees are familiar with the ethical issues faced by the businesses in current environments. The following ethical issues, therefore, should be reviewed and embraced during organizational changes. Foremost, organizations ought to embrace transparency by owning up to their decisions whether right or wrong. For example, organizational managers should identify important practices and concepts, either negative or positive, influencing the firm’s environments and culture in conducting business and attaining goals and objectives. Small, large, and multinational companies should also embrace environmental protection and sustainable development practices (Nielsen et al. 90). Thus, organizations should balance their desires to increase profit margins by adopting environmental protection and sustainable operations. For example, they should embrace the practices of reducing and preventing environmental pollution by ensuring that hazardous wastes and chemicals are disposed appropriately.
Issues Driving Organizations to Change in Current Environment
Today’s environment embraces technological advances supporting innovation and change. As a result, change and innovation are identified as the two standardized procedures that businesses ought to prepare to adopt and sustain (Nielsen et al. 91). For example, market trends have constantly been changing in attempts to keep up with competition at domestic and international levels. Organizations should, therefore, restructure their structures, resources, and practices to undergo significant changes guaranteeing they attain a competitive advantage. Employees, primarily responsible for organizational change and innovation, ought to be kept in the loop.
The economic well-being of an organization is largely dependent on the employees. As a result, organizational changes should be reviewed from employees’ perspectives. Consequently, organizational leaders can ensure the employees do not disrupt changes and innovation as their rights and interests have neither been ignored nor disrespected. It is also vital to communicate the process of organizational change between employers and employees, as well as the public and the organization (Nielsen et al. 91). Communication enhances transparency prompting employees and the public to trust that the organization will continue to exist and fulfill its mandate to the customers. Lastly, teamwork is vital as it builds stronger organizational ethical values and relationships needed to steer social, economic, and political growth. Teamwork also promotes sense of belonging and purpose while supporting organizational changes that are beneficial either in short or long run.
Current Ethical Questions
Currently, organizations are struggling to embrace and adopt changes which have rendered them weak as they are unable to compete with domestic and foreign entities. As a result, organizations should focus on human variables important in attaining organizational change. Consequently, practitioners and researchers should enhance their skills required to deal with organizational changes (Nielsen et al. 92). For example, they should determine if they are ready and possess the skills required to adopt organizational changes. They should also determine if they are prepared to obtain and utilize support from professionals in the organization to attain positive changes to amend the practices, structures, and resources. Growing interdependencies have been mandating broader views by acknowledging organizations embrace change while focusing on communities and geographic areas of other firms. Lastly, organizations should ensure that shifts in ethical values enhance teamwork and transparency.
Nielsen, Warren R., Nick Nykodym, and Don J. Brown. “Ethics and Organizational Change.” Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 29.1 (1991): 82-93.