Ethics Test #2
Terms in this set (55)
"Bending the truth to make things look as good- as worse - as possible". Spinning is something between truth and a lie. Spin is everywhere, religion, law, medicine, everyday life, and of course business. Spinning isnt an outright life. People use it to their advantage. Movie reviews are a good example of spin, "You'll be rolling in the aisles. The worst that could happen is missing this film"...SPIN
Good SPIN is harmless
It can be helpful and positive for job interviews or when quitting a job. You spin because you dont want to be hurtful or burn any bridges.You spin for job interviews because you spin your weaknesses into strengths.
Bad SPIN can be evil
It is bad when you have the intent to deceive, betray, cover up, distort facts or justify foul acts committed. Bill Clinton example, he defined "sexual relations" differently than the general public therefor making his statement "truthful."
Differences between Spins and Lies
Spin is positive and good. A bad spin turns into a lie which is negative and bad. See handout for list of types of spin and lies.
Categories of Spin
1. Lemons to Lemonade (bad to good)
2. Number Crunchers (numbers to distract)
3. Blame Game (blame to getaway with something)
4. Tom-"ay"-to, Tom-"ah"-to (the way you say it)
Lemons to Lemonade
- The Happy-Face Spin
1. Finding the good in the bad (you get into a car accident, but everyone is okay)
-The Boy Scout/Girl Scout Spin
1. The do-good, claiming innocence (Eddie Murphy with prostitute in his car, "i was just giving her a ride home, it's cold out")
- The Free-Lunch Spin
1. People think something is free (buy a couch and dont pay until 2020, but price and interest is included then)
-The Statistics Spin
1. People will overwhelm you with numbers to avoid answering the real question. Because it makes them seem like they know even though all they're doing is deflecting the truth
-The Blame-It-On-My-Youth Spin
1. Some things are more acceptable when the youth does something ("I didnt know any better when I was young")
-The Vast-Conspiracy Spin
1. "Hilary Clinton Spin:, somebody else is responsible, they're out to get me
-The Victim Spin
1. Take what you've done and turn into the victim, "It's how i was raised" or "I didnt know any better"
-The Twilight Zone Spin
1. Say the opposite of what you mean, intent is to deceive
-The It-Depends-On-The-Definition Spin
1. "Bill Clinton Spin", defintions depend ("sexual relations"), intent is to deceive
-The Dont Believe-A-Word-I-Say Spin
1. Say something in a way you dont want what you said to be believed
"Framing" the Situation
The words you choose to "frame" a situation are very important.
1. Did the U.S. invade or liberate Iraq?
2. Was the chemical release a "disaster" or an "incident"?
Words change your perspective.
"Being able to see the situation through others' eyes is a key moral reasoning skill. Kohlberg called this skill "role taking." (Trevino & Nelson)
Why Use Ethical Reasoning in Business?
1. Laws may be insufficient
2. Free-market and regulatory mechanisms may lag advances in technology
3. Resolving complex moral problems require an "intuitive or learned understanding and concern for fairness, justice, and due process to people, groups, and communities"
Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development
1. Preconventional/Obedience and Punishment
4. Obedience/Social Accord
5. Postconventional/Social Contract
1. Preconventional/Obedience and Punishment
1. Avoid pains and earn rewards
2. Self-interest and short term in focus
1. Costs and benefits of alternative courses of action
2. Child like, selfish but now you way the pros and cons
1. Individuals try to meet others expectations. Do what pleases or helps others or is approved by people to close to you
2. Takes consideration and asks for input and applies situations to others that you know (pleae those people)
4. Obedience/Social Accord
1. Response to authorities in power. COncerned about fulfilling duties and following rules or laws that promote common good
2. Think more about people who have authority, following orders/laws (thinking beyond those I know)
5. Postconventional/Social Contract
1. People act according to higher principles (moral laws) and what action would create the greatest societal good
2. Greatest societal good, longterm
1. Following self-chosen principles of justice and right; acting in accord with principles when laws violate principles. Independent reasoned judgements about objective principles of conduct applicable to behavior
2. Wont follow laws/rules if they are against moral principles (only Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Kohlberg have reached this)
Adult when you reach 5/6
Classifying Companies by Stage of Corporate Ethical Development
4. Emergenth ethical
1. Only concern about law and ethics is they dont get caught
2. Most basic level (whatever it takes to get the job done)
1. Organization is concerned with meeting the letter of the law
2. Only conerned about following the law (whatever it takes)
1. Social pressures force these companies to a greater social role
2. Response to society/pressure
-only ethical because of society
-enviornmentally friendly water bottles (only because of society pushing them to make them)
1. Overt effort to manage ethical culture
2. We WANT to be theical, intially in your face with new code of conducts, training programs and pushing it on employees
1. Common set of ethical values suffuses the sorporation
2. Company IS ethical
Balancing Concern for Profits and Ethics
Stage 1 = Amoral, Stage 5 = Ethical
-Balanced concern in stage 5, unbalanced concern in stage 1
Formal Cultural Systems
1. Corporate ethics training programs
2. Found more often in larger companies
-ethics training programs
-code of conducts
Informal Cultural Systems
1. "The way we do things around here"
3. Smaller companies
How Can We Classify Companies?
1. Executive commitment to business ethics
2. Company ethics programs
3. Method to resolve disagreements
-helps with productivity, you want happy workers
4. Sound ethical business practices
-sound business ethics
5. Good corporate citizenship
Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility
-profitable = employment
-good for society/community
-legal obligation to be profitable legally
-profitable legally, acts ethically and gives back to the community
1. "People are morally mute when they do not recognizably communicate their moral concerns in settings where such communicating would be fitting" (Bird)
2. Three Forms
-Not holding others sufficiently accountable
Negative Expressions (Campbell Soup Advertisement Example)
1. Failing to speak up is a "negative expression" of moral muteness
- false advertising:lawsuit
-lose your job
Positive Expressions (Your Company Philanthropic Plan which is Turned Down)
1. This is a "positive expression" of moral muteness
-You dont make a real attempt/dont pursue it
-Your plan doesnt happen
-Lose good publicity
-Competitors could start your program
Insufficient Accountability (Coworker Harassing Others and You Do Nothing About It)
1. This is moral muteness by :not holding others sufficiently accountable"
-Coworker will continue behavior
-Lose customers and/or employees
Moral Muteness - How Does it Occur with Managers?
1. Use ethical reasoning themselves
2. Expect others to use ethical reasoning
3. Privately acknowledge the influence of ethical reasoning on their decisions
4. Fail to explain actions using ethical terminology or ethical judgment - this is moral muteness
they know it is wrong but think others will do something about it (lack of communication)
What Causes Moral Muteness?
1. Threat to Harmony
2. Threat to Efficiency
3. Threat to Image of Power and Effectiveness
4. Moral Myopia
Threat to Harmony
1. Ethical reasoning involves possible confrontation-you dont want to ruin friendships/relationships
Threat to Efficiency
1. Ethical reasoning is messy - no clear answers
-too long and hard to try to solve a problem
-too many meetings and too much paperwork
Threat to Image of Power and Effectiveness
1. Most managers do not want to expose their own ethical illiteracy
-managers want to appear in control
1. Issues is Probably there, I just dont see it
2. Issue is not very clear/cant articulate it very well
-Reasons to stay quiet
3. YOU DONT ACKNOWLEDGE IT OR EMBRACE IT
Consequences of Moral Muteness
1. Creation of moral amnesia
-causes you to forget your morals and they just kep building on eachother
2. Inappropriate narrowness in conceptions of morality
-youconsider immoral things in a narrow definition
3. Moral stress for individual managers
-physical stress with moral stress
4. Neglect of moral abuses
-you dont care about others moral wrongdoings
5. Decreased authority of moral standards
-loss of authority and accountability
Why is Confrontation Important?
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke)
If there is a legal or ethical problem in the company and the executive does nothing, the executive becomes part of the problem
What is Confrontation?
1. Confrontation is the alternative to moral muteness
2. Speaking Up
3. Not allowing misperceptions to continue
-confront and correct rumors
4. Pointing out potential problems not previously considered
5. Refusing to be "part of the team"
-dont "play by the rules"
6. The concept of "loyal opposition"
-loyal to belief system but not to the systems leaders
Why Do We Avoind Confrontation?
1. Hurt Feelings
2. Career destruction
3. Its not "nice"
5. Exposure to liability
6. Wishful thinking
7. Avoid consequences of recognizing problem
8. Belief that truth will not emerge
What Do We Lose By Avoiding Confrontation?
1. Physical Harm to Others
2. Loss of Reputation and Income
3. Increased Liability
Effective, Ethical Confrontation
1. Determine the facts
2. If you dont know the facts, or cant know the facts, present the issue to those involved and affected
3. Confront the person, creating the issue - dont let them hear it from others
4. Dont fail to act simply because of potential fallout and hassle
Guidelines to Follow When Confronting
1. Do NOT assume anything
2. Learn the fatcs OR approach comeone knowledgable
3. COnfront the individual so they hear it from you
Increasing Moral Talk
1. Foster an atmosphere where these conversations can occur (dont retaliate, allow time for discussion, lead by example)
2. Train managers to conduct moral reasoning
3. Encourage Managers to engage eachother in moral talk
4. Have patience
To make sure employees confront...
1. Set up an anonymous email
2. Ethics hotline
3. Dont intimidate
4. Provide a comfortable atmosphere
5. Be patient
As a manager, how should you deal with muteness?
1. Punishment?reward System
2. Training Courses
3. Lead by example
Loyalty to Employer vs. Freedom of Speech
1. Only speak up if you know the facts and have evidence
-be able to support claim
2. It should also be a claim against something substantial
Elbert Hubbard, "Loyalty" quote posted on the entry to the FBI headquarters
What are the limits to loyalty?
Cultural Norms Against Whistle-Blowing
-loyalty to employer
-loyalty to co-workers
-avoiding a "snitch" label
-avoidance of confrontation
Competing Cultural Norms
-sense of duty
-obedience to law
-obedience to one's conscience
"Whistle-blowing is the attempt of an employee or former employee to disclose what he or she believes to be wrongdoing in or by the organization"
Under what conditions is Whistle-Blowing Ethically Justified?
1. When the firm, through a product or policy, will commit serious and considerable harm
2. When the employee identifies a serious threat of harm
3. When the employees immediate supervisor does not act, the employee should exhaust the internal procedures and the chain of command
4. The employee must have documented evidence
5. The employee must have valid reasons to believe that revealing the wrongdoing will change the behavior