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What's your approach to business ethics?

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Tell us what you think about organizational ethics in IT, as featured in the latest Application Developer Management e-newsletter. How do you enforce business ethics in your organization? Do you feel that, when you exhibit moral behavior, employees will want to emulate you? How do you respond when you discover a team member has behaved unethically?

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Business Ethics

by informavore In reply to What's your approach to b ...

How do you handle unethical behavior when the behavior is taking place at the management level?
I have choosen to not to publicize or argue in public those that shout to protect themselves.
Changing jobs at this time is not an option. Whether it be internalized or externalized what coping skills can the audience suggest?

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Unethical mgt behaviour

by iFORESIGHT In reply to Business Ethics

My view is that being exposed to these situations is unpleasant and there should be a 'zero tolerance' culture with it. To be forced to cope with it by the organisational culture, I find is unethical, unprofessional and unreasonable. If your organisation expects you to 'cope' then in effect it is condoning abusive behaviour in people which is psychologically dysfunctional. Having said this, this expectation on staff is unfortunately not uncommon.

Other than leaving your job, all you CAN do is 'cope'. What this means is that it won't remove all your unpleasant feelings about it. All you can do is use calming techniques to reduce your own reactions to it as best as you can and reduce the length of time that your feel those negative emotions.

Also be aware that mgt shouting is out of severe frustration and pressure, so they are sufferring themsleves. In some cases one party can be a downright bully, deceitfull and dishonest person who may have conned upper management so its understandable another manager may have difficulty dealing with that situation, being human. These days the corporate world expects managers to be almost cold robots and be able to handle impeccably any situation, but humans don't function that way. At least having some understanding as to why its happenning can reduce your own emotional reactions to it and be better placed just to 'blank it out' when it occurs.
Calming techniques will give you skills to 'blank out our mind' almost on demand, just asgood as top sports people do when they need to focus, particularly in sports like golf.

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Hard Line

by Bucky Kaufman (MCSD) In reply to Business Ethics

I take a very hard-line approach to management ethics, but you don't have to publicly reproach them. There are alternatives.

The first step in dealing with unethical behaviour by your seniors is to address the errant manager directly. If you observe unethical behaviour you can politely ask, "Is that ethical?". The manager will either say "Yes" or "No", but you both know if it is. You're simply giving her a chance to change her directive.

If the manager doesn't acknowledge and correct the behaviour, the next step is to inform them that you disagree and will take it up the chain-of-command. If you find that their managers support this behavior, you need to accept the fact that you're working for an unethical organization (not justdealing with one bad apple).

If the action is illegal, you should report it to the authorities. If it's not illegal, you have to decide if you want to continue to work for this organization.

I did a LOT of work for telcos in the mid-90's (NorTel, Verizon, etc.) and saw corrpution, sexism, mismanagement and outright fraud all over the place.

I also saw a lot of employees passively accepting it. In the words of one employee, "He may be a crook, but he's OUR crook". Now, when I see them on TV carrying boxes of cubicle debris out in mass layoffs, I have a hard time feeling sorry for most of them.

It's very difficult, in this job market, to leave a job. It may even hurt your family. What's worse is when the family's income comes from organized crime.

No drop of rain blames itself for the downpour.

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