A unit in a company has 3500 euro to spend on wage increases. There are 35 people working in the unit. Analyse, with help of three normative theories, how the manager could distribute the money. Based on this analysis, recommend also how the manager should distribute the money. Argue for your choice of theories and recommendation.
When taking into consideration how the manager could distribute the 3500 among the 35 employees, there are many factors that could be considered, for example job role, level of employee in the company, skill set, seniority, number of hours worked, longevity in the company and many more, which in turn would make the decision more information based. However, with none of the information above available and the fact that the only true information that is available to hand is that there is 3500 Euro’s available and there are 35 staff that are eligible to receive a possible portion of it. Therefore, the rational decision would be too share the 3500 equally between the 35-staff giving each one the value of 100 euro’s each. According to (Crane & Matten, 2016) If the decision is made using consequentialist ethics, it is firstly important to realise that as a normative view point it is assumed that that nature of all humans are absolutists in intent providing an intrinsic view they have a moral view of an action, and it is either right or wrong, although this will depend on the agreeability of that assumption. Therefore, it is assumed that the right and true thing to do would be to give the staff equal shares as this would produce the more desirable outcome in the situation.
Therefore if we use the normative theory of utilitarianism to support the decision we can ascertain that, according to (Crane & Matten, 2016) the basic foundation of utilitarianism is the “greatest happiness principle” which weights the good outcomes against the bad outcomes and promotes the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people .In this approach it can be looked at through a “eudemonistic” view point (Crane & Matten, 2016), which uses the Utilities of paying the equal share or not paying the equal share , therefore it would be possible to ascertain that anyone who did not have an equal share would be considerable less happy than someone who did. This can be tested using a utilitarian analysis by measuring the happiness and unhappiness of each person by either paying them equal shares or by not paying them an equal share and the action with the highest aggregate utility could be determined to be morally right. In this case with the limited information about the employees this theory I feel would work well as it would be simple to ascertain that if one did not receive equal pay it would provide a greater unhappiness than those that did. Although there are limitations as with the Distribution of utility (Crane & Matten, 2016) assessing for the good of greater number of employees the minority of employees who could lose out just to satisfy the majority. There is also an array of other factors which have been stated above which have not been taking into consideration. seniority, hours worked, etc, etc. which limit the usefulness of this approach. Therefore, the differentiating between what is defined as an “act utilitarianism” versus “rule utilitarianism” (Crane & Matten, 2016)
“Act unilateralism looks to single actions and bases the moral judgement on the amount of pleasure and the amount of pain this single action causes ”
“Rule utilitarianism looks at classes of actions and asks whether the underlying principles of an action produce more pleasure than pain in society in the long run”
This differentiation of the utilitarian theory aids in the usefulness of the theory in this situation as it’s a single act been carried out, either to share equally or not to share equally which adds some weight behind the theory for this decision.
The decision can also be analysed using a different theory which has been derived from the workings of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) It is a non -consequentialist normative theory which at its very basic stems from an assumption that something is based on universal principals of right or wrong. Therefore, from the outset the something e.g. the duty is deemed to be a right and honourable action, so it would naturally just be the right thing to do. This ethical theory is the theory of “ethics of duty “. For this it will also be the thought to pay all staff and equal share. According to (Crane; Matten, 2016) the” ethics of duty; ethical theories that consist of abstract unchangeable obligations, defined by a set of rationally deduced a priori moral rules, which should be applied to all relevant ethical problems” ,thus to mean that any decision that is made must firstly be of complete moral standing and be universally accepted to be by all of rational though. To help develop the theory Kant developed the theoretical framework which laid forth his basic three principles known as “categorical imperative “(Crane ; Matten, 2016) These principles must be applied to all more moral decisions on those involved, who profits or is harmed in the particular situation therefore in this case all 35 employees. Within the framework Kant laid out the three key principals to be Consistency, Human dignity and Universality (Crane ; Matten, 2016).
Therefore, in the first instances we can see that the rule, everybody receives the exact same amount of money, this could be agreed consistently throughout without contradiction as it is a reasonable and right thing, therefore fits the rule. It could be seen as a rule that everyone could be happy to adhere to.
Secondly, we look at the second rule of human dignity, Kant states that humans should be treated “always as an end never as a means only” (Crane ; Matten, 20016), treat that person how you would like treated yourself, with respect, dignity and acknowledgement that they have goals and aspirations too. They too are human with feelings. From the idea to share equally I feel this all fits nicely into this as anyone would of course would like an equal share of anything as its most fair to all involved.
And lastly the universality rule, according to (Crane ; Matten, 2016) that Kant states that all rules must be universally law giving, which means that it must be accepted by any human with a rational train of thought and must not be pushed to accept but must be accepted because of the rationality of them. Therefore, I feel that it would be rationally agreeable by all that given the limits of the information provided about the wage increase or other information, all would except that it would only be right and proper for the wage rise to be shared equally. I feel this theory would assist and fits in well with the limited information provided and the fact that the framework laid out by Kant is suitable matched to the question although if there were more information regarding the employees then it may alter the answer to the key principals. Not all persons could possibly have the same train of thought when it came to the outcomes, and, according to (Crane ; Matten, 2016) Kant’s optimism in the theory that all rational actors who act consequently according to self-imposed duties seems more of an idea than a reality of fact.
In the last possibility the value of the increase could be dictated through a target based system , whereas those employees with the ability to achieve the set targets and more will receive a larger amount of the wage increase, This could be deemed as fair as it would incentivise the employees who are more committed and willing to work harder for the Good of the business so should be awarded appropriately to reward the extra effort. The theory which very much justifies the ideology of this is the consequentialist theory of “Egoism” According to (Crane& Matten, 2016) “Egoism is the theory that suggests that an action is morally right if in a given situation all the decision makers freely decide to pursue either their desires or their interests,” This gives backing to paying those employees who do reach the higher targets that a higher reward will be attained for their efforts . According to (Crane & Matten) the justification for egoism is that we only have a limited insight as humans in to our actions and the only way forward to achieve things of a higher stature and move in to a more comfortable life is to pursue or wants and desires as only then can we progress to bigger and better things , this fits well with why offering a target based wage increase would be more appropriate as it would inspire those that can do to go over and above what they would maybe have achieved before. Adam smith believed that a free market would drive the ones that can do, to great prosperity and in turn would befit the one’s below. Those that are inspired to achieve should be rewarded accordingly. Therefore, it could be said that a moral outcome could be found as a product if all are given the same information and opportunity to excel towards their own self-interest then the best outcome shall be achieved for all. In context to the question it could be right to say that of those who work the hardest should receive the highest increase in wages and the question of why should those that don’t be rewarded at all. the problem with this theory is that as all jobs could be different and each person could bring a different quality to what they bring to the company and the roles might be difficult to measure and some jobs could measure differently to others so the complexity of using egoism to consider how to distribute the money among the employees would be very difficult and would probably not be the most efficient way to come up with a solution.. Also, it is worth thinking about that if every one of the employees managed to attain the targets required then each would reive the equal amount of pay rise and in turn would let to the point of hitting targets to gain further prosperity in life null and void and would end up been a pointless task of little return.
With all this said I feel that the manager should give each of the employees an equal share between them and have each one feels the benefit of the pay rise. The rise is so small when decided up by the 35 that it will not change their lives but might go to offering each one thanks for the work they have done up to this point and in-turn could increase productivity, ending in a win win situation for employees and business.
Analyse a specific case of ethical decision-making (that you have experienced) with help of a suitable descriptive theory. Argue for your choice of theory and discuss if there are any limitations to this specific theory.
My friends and I were going to the city for some drinks one evening and with taxi’s been too expensive for the distance and taking a bicycle when consuming alcohol could have led to an accident. This only left the use of a bus to get to the city. the problem with the bus was that you could not pay with money directly on the bus like is possible in my own country and getting a ticket as it was so late at night was impossible. On the suggestion of using the bus I made my friend aware that I had no way to get a ticket, which he replied, don’t worry I will get us on as he had a bus card already and he said he would just pretend to the bus driver that he would also use it for me. Despite the issue regarding the ticket I felt that, my options were limited and that this was my only viable option.
Framework for understanding ethical decision-making
James rest four component model
Recognise a moral issue
If we use the diagram in figure 1a we can see that first we have to recognise if there is a moral issue in my case of getting a bus, without anyway of purchasing a ticket so, as we can ascertain there is the first step. I had recognised that there was a moral issue and that my friend was going to mislead the bus driver of his intentions.
Make moral Judgement
I must decide what a morally ethical person would do in this situation and what actions they would take to remedy the problem. Do I pay a taxi, do I take my bike, or do I just go back home, the values of honesty, integrity and avoiding any criminal consequences of getting on the bus without an appropriate ticket.
Establish moral Intent
For me I had to decide , do I get on the bus and inform the driver of the situation and hope that it will work out in the end or do I get on the bus and let my friend deal with it the way he had suggested or could I just decide that I was just not going to do it at all and then in turn not go out.
Engage in moral behaviour
I accessed my ethical thought process and decide is my principles worth going against for a free bus journey. Act on my thoughts and integrity and achieve the decision for all. Do I let my friend mislead the driver?
Within the model there are also individual factors and situational factors which come into play here which could affect my decision. Issues like my friends age and not caring if he got caught and never saw it as a big issue, the situational was if I don’t go he does not go and it spoils the whole night just because buses don’t give tickets just pre paided cards which I had not got. So, with so many varying factors involved and no tangible way to solve all of them and pleasing everyone the decision to be ethically can be a lot more difficult than may first seem.
I feel that the model is a good model to determine and explain the ethical issues that can arrive when deciding on if to carry out an action and why or why not and it has an easy path to follow for explaining the actions.
What tools and/or techniques could management use to facilitate for employees to oppose and report sexual harassment1 in the workplace? What aspects are important to think through when choosing and implementing a specific tool or technique? Argue for your choice of tool/technique and aspects.
Anti-bulling and harassment policy’s in an accessible place so the information is easily available in staff hand books.
Address the issues of harassment in the code of conduct which is to be given to all employees on commencement of employment.
Management could have a robust policy on what is deemed as sexual harassment and what actions are classed to be inappropriate and unacceptable in the work place.
Set a good example, conduct from upper management and employer set the tone of what is acceptable behaviour
Have a UpToDate training policy for appropriate persons on how to deal with sexual harassment and best practice.
When addressing the situation of reporting sexual harassment in the work place it is important to realise the sensitivity around the topic and the effect it can have on the person involved. Due to this it is imperative that the system in place is appropriate and serves the purpose that it was developed for. Firstly, and foremost confidentially and ease of reporting is imperative as these are sensitive matters to the complainant.
Have an accessible route to HR or company counsellor
Have a trade union representative.
Resolve the issue as a matter of urgency
And have a follow up system in place that will keep the complainant up to date with the investigation and the feedback were appropriate
Have a clear policy in place regarding misconduct and clear steps on the process of consequences leading to Gross misconduct if found to be true.
Protection from victimisation.
Have a feedback system for the employee to inform how the have felt after the ordeal and if they feel if the company could do anything to have made the sensitive situation more bearable.
Have information available if complainant is not happy with the outcome e.g. Acas.
I feel that the tools and techniques I have mentioned above cover all aspects of what should be in place when reporting and dealing with sexual harassment , as I have taken into consideration the ease of reporting the , delicate nature of what is been reported and the confidentiality, I have mentioned how the code of conduct is important as it says what is not acceptable behaviour and the importance of senior staff to led by example, the process of feedback and developing a better system if it is highlighted . I have worked in the social services sector for 10 years and I feel that my knowledge and experience I have gained over that time in dealing with issues regarding discrimination have helped me develop this answer.
Stakeholders are anyone or company, institute, organisations, groups who has an interested in a business who have a direct interaction which effect the business without stakeholders the business would not exist. Stakeholders can be either internal or external depending on the interactions with the business.
In the case with H;M the stakeholders are the young boy in the picture, who’s interest would be the face of the advert and the scandal. The customer, they require customer focus and honesty and integrity from H&M as well as their needs been understood and been meet. The communities in which they operate their shops and factories as they are an empirical part of the supply chain. Employees who advocate for H&M and be the face of the Brand, require jobs and training and motivation to interact with the customers. The suppliers and their employees are the business partners who help them grow and provide the designs and the clothe they sell to the consumers and in this case the jumper the child was wearing. The policy makers are the ones who keep H&M informed of legal and regulatory context and set the rules that run the company. NGOs and IGOs, they are expert advisors on standards and practice s and make them aware of any issues that are needed to be aware of. Finally, the investors, are the people who have invested in the company and as such H&M are accountable to them especially in the case now with the child if the share value were to drop effecting their investment. In this case H&M have to be held accountable to all the stakeholders mentioned above due to the severity and public media surrounding the issue. Canadian singer the weeknd who had worked in partnership with H&M in the past said he would no longer work with them.
Within Carroll’s four-part model of CSR (Crane;Matten,2016), H;M live up to the economical side as it produces goods and jobs within the communities it operates, and profits for its shareholders. These first basic functions are the base line for all business to start with as without these at the bottom of Carroll’s pyramid H&M would not be in existence. Although in this case they did mention that they had drop-in quarterly sales, for the first time in a decade
The legal responsibilities
Within the model H&M still live up to their legal requirements as they have not broken any laws persa , According to (Crane & Matten, 2016) the legal responsibilities of a corporation are to abide by the law and “play by the rules of the game” what is meant by law is the codification of societies moral code, therefore it could be said that they have not broken a punishable law but have broken what would be said was a moral code of discrimination , as it is fair to say that with a high outcry from the public it shows that it was not acceptable or moral behaviour.
Is generally accepted to be the issues that are not covered by law and are excepted norms in society which are expected to be up held. According to (Crane & Matten, 2016) ethical responsibility it is what corporation do which is right, just and fair even when they are not compelled to do. In this case H&M have failed to uphold this and have failed to take into consideration the views of their customers.
According to (Crane & Matten, 2016) Philanthropic responsibilities are at the tip of the iceberg and are more a desired responsibility which is not so much required but more a desire to fill for the greater good. The word philanthropic is a Greek word which literally means “the love of the fellow human”. This responsibility in this case they have no fulfilled as they have not taking into consideration beforehand the fellow humans and how they would react to the situation.
Corporate citizenship could be applied to this case as they have been deemed to have done an act which has caused offence to many the population and customers who buy their products. They are responsible as producers and employers to abstain from causing offence which could led to protests off discrimination. If they look as to be not aware of their social responsibility then it in turn could affect their ability to trade as a successful business, so they would need to be aware of the responsibilities which are over and above their want to make a profit. Corporate citizen ship is about relations within the community and government which they fail in this notion in this case.