a. What is in the stated facts of the case that raises ethical concerns for the parties involved?
The case is about the director of the Lake County Solid Waste Management District who involved in spending taxpayers money. The case suggests that director actually purchased a sapphire blue designer handbag, and three matching purse accessories for $751 but, had lied that he purchased only a briefcase to gift an employee to show the gratitude on the personal accomplishment of completion of her masters degree.
The other unethical behavior was that after writing the check, the director said it was no longer anyones business to interfere what he had purchased.
b. Identify the ethical issue(s) or ethical question(s) involved in the above case: state the issue as a question (a question of ethics)
Whether the Directors manipulation and lying lead to an unethical leadership and violates organizations ethics policy?
Whether a manager favoring a gift to an employee for his / her personal achievement is ethical?
How does the leaders unethical behavior influence the employees and the organization?
Is the Director a bad role model to the organization?
a. State an ethical rule or approach for analyzing the above case
Focus on Integrity (Virtue Ethics) is the right fit for this case.
It focuses on integrity of moral actor rather than the act. It emphasizes on ethical role model, the importance of professional reputations and the necessity of highest ethical standards. It also focuses on unpleasant moral critic and broader community standards.
a. Using the facts of the case, analyze and apply the ethical rule (from #2) to the issue(s)
The Lake County Solid Waste Management Director purchased a gift to show gratitude to one of the employees for her personal achievement of completing her masters degree. This type of activity will demoralize the other employees and will create an unpleasant moral critic in the organization. The Director and the whole team should have appreciated with a greeting card or a small gift worth of less than $ 25 for the appreciation of her achievement rather than a costly gift without the knowledge of other employees. Otherwise, the other members of the team will feel that there is something going on between the director and the employee.
The Director purchased a gift for $751 which I think it violates the organizations policy of exceeding the limit. A policy on the giving and receiving of gifts and hospitality should be consistent with other aspects of the organizations ethics policy in encouraging high standards of personal honesty and integrity.
The Director was lying that he had purchased a briefcase but the actual receipt shown that the purchase was for a sapphire blue designer handbag, and three matching purse accessories. This leads to an unethical leadership and a bad role model. This may come in an obvious form, like manipulating numbers in a report or spending company money on inappropriate activities.
He had also shown an unethical behavior in a bullying tone that after writing the check, he said it was no longer anyones business of what he had purchased.
a. After analyzing the Issue(s), Rule, and Application, explain whether ethics or the ethical rule/approach has been violated and state why?
The Director offering a gift to the employee on personal achievement is an unethical approach for receiving a favor. Director cant offer a gift to every employee who are accomplishing their personal achievements. Instead, he could have offered a token of appreciation through email to that employee with a copy to everyone. These type of activities will demoralize the other employees and will create an unpleasant oral critic in the organization. Buying a gift for $ 751 violates the organizations the company policy of exceeding the limit. The gift offering to a female employee for her personal achievement discriminates the organizations male employees. Lying at Directors level by manipulating the purchase of sapphire blue designer handbag with matching purse accessories will bring a bad role model and an unethical leadership to the organization. This will also bring an unpleasant moral critic to the organization. As a Director, he should have co-operated for the investigation and instead he has shown his authority with an unethical behavior to others who are interested in the issue.. He doesnt want others to interfere in his wrongdoing and hence brings a bad leadership to the organization.
b. What remedies or corrective actions should be taken to resolve the case and state why?
The organization needs to institute a Code of Ethics, a collection of principles and practices that a business believes in. They should work in conjunction with companys corporate values, but outline more specific policies about how the management and employees should handle themselves in certain situations. Having a Code of Ethics will create a sense of fairness and a clear understanding of the rules and repercussions so both employees and leaders are aligned. In order to overcome unethical behavior in the workplace, top management must create an environment in which employees and supervisors feel safe and comfortable. The more open and genuinely approachable leaders are, the more willing employees are to speak up when circumstances require it. However, the top management needs to set a clear policies that can mitigate the risk of an ethical dilemma damaging the companys reputation. Gift should not be given to just one person, but rather to the whole team or division for their official / personal accomplishments. Management needs to identify appropriate and inappropriate conduct, and they communicate their expectations to employees and supervisors through ethics codes, training programs, and other communication channels.
To ensure a positive and ethical environment, the guidelines for the culture and goals must be reinforced on a regular basis, and each decision made should be based on the principles of the underlying mission, vision, and values upon which the culture is intended to be based. The simplest and most effective strategy for reinforcing workplace ethics is through the coaching method of management, which requires accountability at all levels and uses a mentoring-based solution to problems with employee behavior or performance.