Questions for Discussion:
Do you believe ethics are important to a company's culture?
Do you know who is in charge of promoting ethical practices in your company, and if so, have you ever conversed with them directly?
Can you share an ethical dilemma you encountered at your current place of employment, and how did you handle the situation?
Does your company monitor your computer, mail and/or work phones? If so, from an ethical perspective, how do you feel about this type of surveillance?
In your opinion, are whistleblowers heroes or troublemakers?
Have you ever been asked to lie at work? If so, how did you deal with this situation?
Do you personally feel there are cultural barriers in your current workplace that impact the ethical practices of the company?
1. Peter Haig, vice president.
2. Scott Stein, relationship manager.
3. Patricia Rosal, assistant vice president.
4. Lilian Bonilla, client oficer.
In this paper, I will discuss the ethical case studies found in the management and leadership within the financial institutions. I am currently working in a full-time leadership position as a senior client officer at a bank in California. My goal is to move to the regional presidential role after graduating which would allow me to work closely with the top bank officials like the directors and clients in an administrative capacity. Additionally, it would give me the opportunity to work on a wide geographical area of over 30 financial institutions. In this paper, I present six cases studies that present the ethical issues in the financial institutions. I present the various challenges that arise in a management or leadership role within a financial institution along with my commentary on each one. Additionally, I also included a methodology section outlining the process and questions used for my personal interviews conducted. I will also share the various responses from my personal interviews in the result section. Finally, I will share my thoughts on the lessons I have learned from the case studies and personal interviews. In this section, I will also relate the lessons with the ethical principles that I have learned in this semester.
Senior organizations officers engage in serious consultation in an attempt to determine the most appropriate approaches to handling the organizations daily activities with the aim of improving the performance of the organization. Most people wonder about what it takes to be a successful organization or a leader. However, the answer is very simple; the success of the organization does not only depend on the management but the entire organization. I chose this case study because it shows what it takes to be a successful organization or a leader. This case study gives the significance of acting and behaving ethically within the organization. The case study also reveals the importance of the senior officers in the organization to behave and act ethically because it is not only the employees that are caught doing the wrong things. This cases study shows that even the senior officials in the organization are not exceptional to engaging in the wrong activities that can impact the organizations performance negatively (Maclagan, 2008).
Everyone in the organization has a portion to contribute towards the success of the organization. Ethics is a significant part of the organizational success. Ethics also contribute greatly to the establishment of the organizational culture that sets a layout to the organization (Nelson, 2012). Ethics guide people on how to behave and act in different circumstances in life. Guided by the ethical theories and principles, one can make the right decision to determine what is wrong and right. Based on the utilitarian point of view, ethics is all about what promotes the happiness of people or a person (De Colle & Werhane, 2008). Therefore, according to this theory judging the right thing or the wrong thing is based on the consequence of the action. The theory emphasizes on the significance of examining the consequence of an action before one gets involved. This will help the person make the right decision; if the consequence is bad then he/she should judge it as wrong but if it is right then the judgment is that the action is right. Additionally, since the theory advocates for self-actualization and fulfillment; ethics is, therefore, the ability to determine the right or wrong of an action based on the consequence. The success of the organization is the fulfillment and actualization of every member of the organization; therefore, doing anything that is contrary to the fulfillment of the organizations objectives is considered unethical.
Ethics is in every field of profession and is not limited to one particular profession. Therefore, in my cases studies, I chose the topics that I believe will help me in my profession of choice. It will also help me handle situations in administrative and management levels of my career. In the first cases study, I observed the significance of ethics in banking. In this cases study, I observed that it is not only compliance with the organizational regulations that can ensure the success of its success. It is important for the members of the organization to uphold the highest standard of fairness and honesty in their dealings, especially with the clients (Nelson, 2012). This will help the organization earn the customers interest. In my interviews, every participant acknowledged the significance of ethics in the organizations operations. Organization cannot operate without ethics. My interviewees gave their responses based on the significance of the ethics in business. For example, Scott Stein answered question two that without ethics, banking institutions could not be entrusted. From an Aristotelian perspective, people are not born virtues, but they learn them through practice (De Colle & Warhane, 2008). This can be realized from an organizational culture that can ensure that all members of the organization are equipped with virtues characters; for example, honesty, self-control, fairness, and integrity.
In the second cases study, I observed that organizational culture plays a significant role in shaping the behavior of the members of the organization. In the cases study, I further observed that setting strict financial regulations in the banking institutions does not help control the unethical behaviors like exploitation of the customers. This study revealed that every institution needs to establish its organizational culture that can ensure that their members do not become an easy target for the policy makers (Halowecky et al., 2010). My interviewees answered question seven in a manner that appeared to me that organizational culture has a great impact on determining the behavior of the employees and that of every other member of the organization. For example, Scott Stein replied to question seven that it is not the responsibility of a single employee or member of the organization to make decisions that affect the entire organization. Lilian Bonilla also emphasized the importance of keeping integrity in the organization by giving an experience she had experienced with her workmate who wanted her to lie to the manager about her lateness. Lilian answered that she told the manager the truth so as to get out of the problem because if she could have lied and the truth be found she could have implicated herself. From the Aristotelian perspective, the virtues traits in an organization are inculcated in people, and it is the responsibility of the organization to set a culture of instilling virtues traits in its members (De Colle & Warhane, 2008).
In the third cases study, I observed that everyone in the organization is fully responsible for the success of the organization. Every member of the organization has a role to play in the development of the organizational culture (Colbert, 2014). Everyone in the organization is responsible for the protection organizational resources. It is not necessarily the person in charge responsible for the protection of the resources. The success of the organization does not depend on one person; it depends on the entire organization. Promoting ethics in the organization is not the responsibility of the person in charge only, but rather a responsibility of every member of the organization (Colbert, 2014). My interviewees answered question three in a way that showed that promoting ethics in the organization is not only a responsibility of a single person, the person in charge but the entire organization. From the observation, it is not a mandatory to interact with the person in charge of ethics in the organization so as to behave ethically. For instance, Peter Haig answered that he has never engaged with the person in charge of ethics in the institution. The same concept was affirmed with Patricia, Lilian, and Scott. If there is anything wrong in the organization, one should stand and point out the problem especially if it is going to affect the organization negatively. My interviewees also expressed their concern on the whistleblowing when something is wrong in the organization with most of them claiming that it is necessary for the organization; however, they should not be seen as heroes because they have stood for something right. From the Aristotelian point of view, someone does not require to do the right thing so as to be recognized in the organization (Do Colle & Warhane, 2008). Doing the right things is necessarily and not for appreciation or recognition. Peter answered question six that whistleblower should not necessarily point out a problem in the organization because they need recognition, but rather it is the necessary action to be taken. The same concept was also expressed by Rosal, who expressed her opinion on the necessity of whistleblowers in the organization.
In the fourth cases study, I observed that it is important to keep the frequent monitor on the organizations activities. There are various temptations that come by especially when it comes to the handling of money. Therefore, keeping a close monitor of the employees activities does not affect their privacy but helps them keep out of trouble that may arise from temptations (Harris & Spence, 2002). My interviewees answered question five in a manner that helped me understand the importance of supervisors in the organization. Sometimes one may mistake them with the claim that they are engaging in their personal lives. Keeping close monitor on the employees activities does not aim at infringing their privacy but protect them from engaging in any activity that may infringe their work. From the Aristotelian point of view, virtues traits are acquired by practice. However, the same way one can acquire some other negative traits in the process if no one is there to show him/her the right path to follow (De Colle & Warhane, 2008). My interviewees claimed that they do not feel intimated when their emails or work phones are checked; for example, Peter answered question five that it is important to keep the employees in check through the frequent monitor of their personal emails or work phones. The same was also expressed by Lilian who claimed that monitoring the personal mails and work phones is not intimidating because it is aimed at protecting the employee from temptations that may arise due to lack of transparency. The monitoring is only aimed at enhancing the transparency of the employee and that of the organization in general.
In the fifth case study, I observed that it is important to engage all sectors in the financial sector so as to promote the performance of the institution. Additionally, embracing financial co-operation will help in reducing the focus on competition and focus on...
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