Proper Jurisdiction On Business Ethics Assignment

 

Key Topics

Imagine yourself in a situation where you are a manager in a government establishment. A bid has been submitted to your office for supply of new computers and your best friend’s company (Radax) is one of the bidders. Your friend has spoken to you about the bid and you have realized that Radax does not have the best bid. Describe the ethical concerns that have arisen from this scenario. Do you think your choice would be most affected by your individual moral development or by the cultural values of the organization for which you work? Explain.

 

In this particular scenario, there are a number of ethical issues that have come up. The management is not only a facilitator but has multiple roles that include division of work, authority, and responsibility, discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, subordination, remuneration, centralization, equity and stability (Venugopalan, 2011). It is important that I as the manager of the government establishment take a fair and sound judgment that lives up to my duties given to me. It is important to be ethical and fair because of the followings (Jamnik, 2011):
•    The society and the stakeholders expect that the managers would always deliver fair and right judgments. 
•    It is in the best interest of the company that matters are kept ethical 
In this scenario, I am facing an issue at a personal level. There is a particular conflict of interest that I am facing between my own values and ethics and that of the company I work for. Some of the things that need to be kept in mind are:
•    Irrespective of personal connections, the party with the best offer should be awarded the tender.
•    There should be no discrimination and all parties are given equal opportunity. Given information, details, etc. should be equally circulated among all the parties interested in filing for the tender.
•    Accepting gifts or other benefits from parties involved could lead to legal action against me.
•    The matter needs to be handled with proper jurisdiction.
•    Personal relationships should not suffer but at the same time judgment should be fair and sound. 
•    Laying down a good example of ethical judgment is necessary for others to follow. 
•    Government organizations are already stained with past records of corruption and mishandling and this needs to be rectified.
 Some of the general considerations to be kept in mind for the tendering process are (Ray et al., 2006):
•    The tendering process should be conducted honestly and it should be fair to all the stakeholders involved. 
•    The parties involved have to follow all the legislative actions as well as those levied by trade practices. 
•    The conditions of the tender should be the same for the tenderers.
•    Any party is allowed to share their conflict of interest.
•    Parties should not enter practices like collusion and inflation of prices.
•    The confidentiality of all information provided should be taken care of at all times
•    Tender documents should specify the requirements very clearly and appropriately.
•    The cost of bidding should be regarded by the principals.
The buyer and the tenderers should both consider the ethical importance in the tendering process. The Chartered Institute if Purchasing and Supply Code of Ethics provides a guide to the buyer (Tribe, 2014). It helps people involved in the contractual process to look at ethical guidelines that need to be followed. Basic principles of honesty and integrity need to be followed at all times. 
In conducting business, our own upbringing, environments and academic influences play a very important role. Values play an important role in influencing us in our business decisions as well (Journal of values-based leadership - Valparaiso university, 2008).  Being able to understand, recognize and articular one’s own values are very important so that sound and healthy decisions can be taken. Also, at the same time, corporate culture also plays an equally important role in deciding an employee’s behavior. A good and powerful connection is created when there is an alignment between the employee’s own values and that of the employer. Organizational culture reflects the collective term resulting from the shared beliefs, interactions and shared values of the people in an organization that influences their behavior over time. It also guides how things are to be done and indicates what is considered important in the organization. The behavior within the organization should be consistent overall. It holds the entire organization together and drives members to commit for a better chance. There is also a direct relationship between ethical behavior and organizational culture (Tren? ín and John Graham Vysoká Škola Manažmentu, no date). Some of the core elements of organizational culture are:
1.    Core values
2.    Stories
3.    Heroes
4.    Symbols
5.    Rites and rituals
It is like a multilayered phenomenon with the inner layer reflecting the values and is followed by the mission and the vision statements from the very beginning. The impact of these values exists on the employees as well. A sound culture of integrity is shown by (Deloitte, 2015):
1.    Organizational values: A set of values that emphasize the organization’s commitment to legal compliance and ethical issues.
2.    Consistency of communication
3.    Middle-level management
4.    Comfort in employees in speaking up
5.    Accountability
6.    Incentives and rewards
7.    Justice
If these parameters are engrained in good spirit in the organization, it is said to have built a good foundation of business ethics in its culture. 
Moral and ethics are often used interchangeably but they differ in their meaning. Ethics is a code of conduct which the company feels is good and should be followed on the other hand morality is a set of good/bad things that are perceived by society. Every individual has his own set of moral rules and this may not adhere to the code of ethics set by companies. A code of ethics may guide an individual about the perception of his behavior but the own value system of the individual would help him judge the consequences of his actions. For some individuals, their value system may not allow them to make certain decisions as they go against the norms of ethics while for some individuals it may be acceptable. The more and more the employees of the same organization have the same kind of value system, the more likely it is that they will act in the same way when faced with an ethical dilemma(Finegan, 1994). 

Conclusion

In this particular scenario, the decision would be influenced most by my particular decision of morality. What I perceive as right or wrong would decide who should be getting the tender. For some individual’s it would not seem unethical or immoral to give the tender to Radax but for some people, it would be completely unethical. However, the kind of ethics of the organization and the people around me and the influence they have on would help me in taking my decision. Sticking by organizational ethics and following a consistent approach would be considered as the best alternative as of now. Since, I am in a dilemma and conflict of interest, choosing the party with the best offer would be the solution to this problem. Laying down good standards of ethics is essential and that is what should be done by the manager of the organization looking after the tendering process here.

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References:

1.    Institute of Business Ethics (2012) ‘The ethics of gifts & hospitality’.
2.    Bondy, J. and Pikulin, D. (2010) ‘ETHICAL ISSUES IN TENDERS OF DEFENSE AND JOINT DEFENSE AGREEMENTS TWENTY FIRST ANNUAL NORTHEAST SURETY AND FIDELITY CLAIMS CONFERENCE PRESENTED BY’,.
3.    Deloitte (2015) ‘Corporate culture: The second ingredient in a world-class ethics and compliance program’,.
4.    Finegan, J. (1994) ‘The impact of personal values on judgments of ethical behavior in the workplace’, Journal of Business Ethics, 13(9), pp. 747–755. doi: 10.2307/25072584.
5.    Jamnik, A. (2011) ‘THE CHALLENGES OF BUSINESS ETHICS – MANAGEMENT AND THE QUESTION OF ETHICS’, Tourism and Hospitality Management, .
6.    Journal of values-based leadership - Valparaiso university (2008) Available at http://www.valuesbasedleadershipjournal.com/issues/vol1issue1/dean.php (Accessed: 9 May 2016).
7.    Page, D. (2016) ‘Organizational culture’s influence in ethical policies’, Small Business Chron.
8.    Ray, R.S., Hornibrook, J.A.F., Skitmore, R, M. and Skitmore, M. (2006)ETHICS IN TENDERING: A SURVEY OF AUSTRALIAN OPINION AND PRACTICE. Available at: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/4418/1/4418_1.pdf (Accessed: 8 May 2016).
9.    Tren? ín and John Graham Vysoká Škola Manažmentu (no date) ‘The role of corporate culture in business ethics’,.
10.    Tribe, J. (2014) ‘How to prepare and evaluate tenders -knowledge how to’,.
11.    Venugopalan, K. (2011) ‘School of distance education MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS & BUSINESS ETHICS’, .
12.    Zakaria, R., Kwong, L.Z., Nilashi, M., Zaimi, M., Majid, A., Ibrahim, O. and Zin, R.M. (2014) ‘ETHICAL BEHAVIORS IN E-TENDERING PROCESS FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECT IN MALAYSIA’, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, 1070(1).

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