Business Methods and Ethics
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The business scenario involves heavy decision-making related to the practice of ethics in the sphere of business. After product testing and customer research reveals negative results and feedbacks, middle-level managers insist on distributing the product overseas. Resisting orders from management or reporting the scheme is the right thing to do because it benefits the organization in terms of developing a good image and reputation, and ensures consumer safety and satisfaction. However, the whistleblower runs the risk of victimization (Robbins, 2009). The middle-level managers, as well as other employees, involved in the scheme may retaliate me by ridiculing, harassing, or threatening me in the workplace, or finding reason to dismiss me from the job and refuse to write a positive letter of recommendation for future job applications. Other risks include isolation in the workplace and placement in difficult and inappropriate job assignments (Singh, 2009). According to Robbins (2009), whistleblowers are also expected to meet impossible tasks and work standards, deprived of bonuses and incentives, or transferred to a different team or department. Moreover, the whistleblower runs the risk of destroying the organization’s reputation, which could affect the career and livelihood of its other members regardless of their involvement or noninvolvement in the scheme.
Aside from whistle blowing, the other option is cooperating in the planned scheme of distributing the product worldwide despite the negative testing results and feedback. Nevertheless, both of those have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include earning the confidence of middle-level managers or colleagues, and being rewarded for cooperating in the scheme, and helping the organization to increase the revenue. The managers or colleagues would possibly commend me for being a “team player” and put the interest of the organization first. I may also avoid the risks aforementioned if I support the plan and wait until the organization receives complains and feedbacks from consumers and distributors. However, doing so is also a disadvantage because aside from the risks involved in reporting the scheme, I may be putting consumers’ health and safety at risk. Thus, my decision to cooperate would significantly affect the lives of consumers. Another disadvantage to cooperating with middle-level managers is that the outcome would affect my career. Since in this scenario, I helped to develop the faulty product, my reputation is also at risk. The failure of the product would have impact on my career and influence professional advancement.
Pushing through with the scheme would have short-run benefits but long-range cost to the company. Selling the product internationally means instant revenue, which would consequently allow the organization to invest in other projects and improve the quality of products and services and productivity allowing it to produce marketable goods for consumers. However, the company would suffer in the long run, especially if consumers complain and global special interest groups like the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) test the product and discover the product’s flaws (Werner & DeSimone, 2008). A lawsuit will be filed against the organization and it will be forced to pay heavy fines for knowingly marketing a faulty product. Moreover, the company would be forced to pay wronged consumers individually for risks and damages.
Personally, I would choose to take the risk and report the middle-level managers to top management. The benefits and advantages of going ahead with the scheme may be tempting but doing the right thing, in the long run, is more rewarding both personally and professionally. According to Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” I may have been responsible in creating a faulty product, but I can redeem myself by refusing to become a part of another mistake. Moreover, the company and I would earn respect and trust if I do the right thing and urge top management to prevent the release of the faulty product. According to 2 Corinthians 8:21, “We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.” The company should realize the benefits and advantages of making the right decision in dealing with whistle blowing. The negative culture, which places the whistleblower at risk, should be replaced with a positive and progressive culture where they are rewarded for telling the truth. The top management should also impose strict laws to maintain business ethics in the workplace and encourage managers and employees to report wrongdoings and mistakes to top management without the feeling of being afraid of the risks, but at the same time taking responsibility for whatever they report to top management, factual or not.