Unethical practices have become commonplace occurrences in organizations worldwide. Both employers and employees are involved in such practices, most of which have adverse effects on organizational operations. This paper identifies and explains the two most interesting unethical practice aspects from the week’s reading material. It further explains why the two aspects are of interest and how they relate to specific ethical scenarios.
Unethical practices have become common in organizations around the world and have adverse effects on businesses or operations undertaken by organizations. To mitigate the adverse effects caused by these practices, organizations in collaboration with various nations, have pushed for the enactment of regulations to outlaw the occurrence of the practices in organizational contexts (Weiss, 2014). Unethical practices in organizations jeopardize several aspects including employee performance, employee relations, organization-customer relationships, organizational credibility, and others. Some of the most predominant unethical practices experienced by organizations, managers, and professionals in the global context include bribery and gifts, organizational crime, corruption, sexual and racial discrimination, piracy and intellectual property protection, and others.
Based on the reading material for the week, the two most interesting unethical aspects experienced by organizations and managers in their day-to-day undertakings are corruption and racial and sexual discrimination. Corruption remains a significant ethical concern in the world today with reports indicating that it costs $500 billion annually, a figure that represents one percent of the global economy (Weiss, 2014). There are several forms of corruption the most common being bribery. Reports estimate that bribery payments are at $1 trillion worldwide (Weiss, 2014). Racial and sexual discrimination is also a common unethical practice experienced by managers and organizations in their day-to-day operations. The fact that this practice has become common in organizations can be attributed to factors such as globalization, the widening gap between income groups, and the global war on terror. For managers, it is essential to understand the aspects of corruption and racial and sexual discrimination as this plays a crucial role when it comes to addressing common organizational challenges such as poor employee performance, poor employee relations, distorted company-customer relationships, compromised organizational credibility, and others.
Corruption is an interesting topic from the unethical practice perspective given the focus and attention it receives the world over. Over the years, slow economic growth has been attributed to incessant corruption in organizations forcing the formulation of policies and enactment of regulations that have paved the way for the arrest and prosecution of people involved in the same (Weiss, 2014). Similarly, racial and sexual discrimination is an interesting topic because of the attention on the same over the years. Several civil and human rights movements aimed at fighting racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace have been witnessed around the world in recent times. The commitment and sacrifice of activists and the negative response from governments and other authorities have escalated people’s interest in this topic (Weiss, 2014). Corruption is evident or related to the scenario at Enron where Jeffrey Skilling (president and CEO) and his staff embezzled billions of dollars leading to the collapse of the company. Part of the corruption scandal at the company was the alleged bribery of Arthur Anderson, an accounting firm, that played a role in the illegal accounting procedures. Racial and sexual discrimination, on the other hand, is evident or related to the 2015 scenario at McDonald’s franchises in Virginia where employees were discriminated based on their race and gender. The employees who were either Hispanic or African-American alleged that they had been discriminated, harassed, and wrongfully terminated because of their race. Also, they alleged that the supervisors at McDonald’s franchises in Virginia had engaged in activity that constituted sexual discrimination. This included making inappropriate comments about bodies of employees, touching female employees on their legs and other sensitive parts, as well as soliciting sexual activity with employees.
Weiss, J. W. (2014). Business Ethics and Stakeholder Management in The Global Environment. In Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. San Francisco, US: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Retrieved October 23, 2017, from https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=TvIlAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Chapter+8+BUSINESS+ETHICS+AND+STAKEHOLDER+MANAGEMENT+IN+THE+GLOBAL+ENVIRONMENT&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Chapter%208%20BUSINESS%20ETHICS%20AND%20STAKEHOLDER%20MANAGEMENT%20IN%20THE%20GLOBAL%20ENVIRONMENT&f=false