Essay: Ethics in the Workplace Organizational

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[. . .] However, they would also be at risk of getting laid off unless they bring in some business to the hotel.

The management of the hotel could face a cut in its salaries if the request is rejected and business continues to suffer. If the request is accepted, they would benefit from the increased revenue and raised profile of the hotel. However, it could lead to grievance issues and complaints of discrimination against black employees. Negative media publicity would also result in public humiliation and probably litigation and termination.

The guests would experience comfort as a result of compliance with their wishes. It would also give them the leverage to gain acceptance of further requests during their stay. They would also suffer from the service quality provided by the black staff members. If their request is rejected, they would experience uneasiness and may go to another hotel. At the same time, there is the possibility that they accept the explanation and visit the hotel.

Weighing of Alternatives

If the first alternative, i.e. accepting the request of the prospective guests is selected, it would create overall disutility for all the parties involved. With employees under the fear of losing their jobs, there is expected to be some insecurity and tension in the workforce. If the black employees are made not to serve the guests, it is likely to create hostility and conflict between me and my coworkers. The hotel also falls into the danger of getting negative media publicity for discriminating against ethnic minority employees during a period of economic recession. It could also reinforce and encourage such unfair behavior from other guests through word of mouth. Other employees could also suffer from low self-esteem which would distract them from their jobs, leading to greater loss for the hotel. The cost of litigation would also crush the hope for the survival of the company.

On the other hand, accepting the request of the guest would have comparatively less positive utility for the hotel and the staff. The additional business would result in increased revenues for a two night stay. However, it is not likely that many guests would follow the first ones especially after they come to know of the special request that the hotel staff gladly accepted. A few of the other non-black employees may also succeed at putting in some effort at making the stay of the guests a comfortable one and gain some positive comments. To a reasonable extent, it would result in an achievement for me in the form of helping the hotel to serve guests even during a business downturn. However, other than my own interests, accepting the request would not create much utility for other stakeholders in the situation.

Not accepting the request would create more utility for all stakeholders than disutility. Not accepting the request would give me the opportunity of offering a polite explanation of the objective and fair reasons and communicate the non-discriminatory values at the hotel. This would create a generally favorable perception of the company of the prospective guests share it with acquaintances. Morale at the workplace would improve considerably and cohesion among black and non-black staff would strengthen, creating opportunities for improved efforts at improving the performance of the hotel. If a policy for such requests does not already exist, management may be motivated to draft a policy that ensures that racial discrimination is not practiced at the hotel and that if guests do make such a request, they are to be explained the policy in a courteous manner.

The only person to suffer a great degree of disutility upon rejection of the request is likely to be me because the lost business may not provide any protection against being laid off during the downsizing process. The hotel may also suffer but the revenue that could have been gained from a two night stay of seven people would probably not have been as much as the cost of the negative publicity and possible litigation if news about the request spread throughout the hotel and beyond. Similarly, the black employees may have been able to keep their jobs for a bit longer but might not be able to forget the embarrassment and discrimination experienced in this modern age.

Clear Statement of Assessment and Resolution of Ethical Dilemma

The utility and disutility resulted as a consequence of the decision can be assessed in the light of an interpretation of utility that goes beyond economic gain. The success of an organization is not measured by the financial strength but also by the quality of the work environment and by its culture. An organization that is fair towards its employees and upholds values of equality and respect is to be valued more than an organization that is financially sound but does not respect its employees. Furthermore, when the rule-utilitarian approach is applied to this case, it can be seen that if the principle adopted in this case is applied as a rule rather than limiting it to the present case alone, it will create more utility than disutility for all stakeholders because it will promote values of equality and fairness in society. Modern approaches are aiming at looking beyond economic gain as a positive outcome. Although other forms of utility are less concrete and cannot be measured for comparison, in this case it is reasonable to assume that maintaining a cohesive and trusting work environment is more important than increasing the occupancy rate for a few days. Moreover, the collective interest of the whole is more important under the utilitarian approach than the interest of an individual. Therefore, I would reject the request of the prospective guest and request him to reconsider his desire.

Conclusion

Resolving an ethical dilemma requires careful consideration of the issue, the stakeholders and all the concerns of the stakeholders in the outcome of the situation. Personal and cultural values shape an individual's preference for a certain ethical theory or perspective. While the deontological approach assumes that universal and absolute values and rules exist, the focus of utilitarianism on utility as either pleasure or pain (Waluchow 2003, p. 146) as opposed to morally right or wrong has led to some criticism. Nonetheless, the perspectives continue to adapt to societal attitudes and values as seen in the relativism of utilitarianism (Singer 2011, p. 3) and in the application of the rule-utilitarianism principle to resolve the ethical dilemma in the present case.

References

Bykvist, K. (2010). Utilitarianism: A guide for the perplexed. Continuum International Publishing Group.

Hinman, L.M. (2012). Ethics: A pluralistic approach to moral theory. Cengage Learning.

Mizzoni, J. (2009). Ethics: The basics. John Wiley & Sons.

Sheng, C.L., & Sheng, Q. (2004). A defense of utilitarianism. University Press of America.

Singer, P. (2011). Practical ethics: An introduction to ethical theory. Cambridge University Press.

Trevino, L.K., & Nelson, K.A. (2011). Managing business ethics (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Waluchow, W.J. (2003). The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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