15 AprMoral and Ethical Issues Facing Managers

Moral and Ethical Issues Facing Managers

In their every day operations, managers are faced with many ethical and moral issues. Management job is all about making decisions meant to move the organization forward. This means that in making important decisions for the organizations, managers are likely to be faced by many challenges. From the individual perspective, there is no absolute objectivity.  This means that it is quite hard for managers to make decisions that are 100% correct. Due to human relations managers will always result to decisions which are not binding to all and influence of organizational politics and other forces often constrain decision making for managers. Since managers have to make many decisions ranging from hiring to termination, they are faced with different ethical and moral issues in each and every stage, which makes is difficult to come up with entirety of list of moral and ethical issues facing managers.

In most organizations the manager is looked upon as the role model that should provide guidance to the rest of organizational members. This assumption is tied to management by example where the manager is expected to show organization members who they should run the organization rather than telling them what to do. Most of the duties of a manager revolve around communicating with other managers and employees, passing out important details pertaining to operations of the organization (George and Lazareth, 2003). In the course of interacting with people, a manager will be faced by many challenges likely to affect the decision they make. This implies that although they are supposed to be role model, fitting into this shoe comes with different ethical and moral challenges.

There is a close relationship between social issues and ethically responsible management practices.  Since management is always involved in dealing with people, it is a part of social and work life of the manager. Ethically responsible management can be regarded as management which takes into consideration all social issues in human relations. Workers want to see any action taken by manager is an ethically correct action to consider the management ethically right management.


In philosophical explanations, morality is viewed as a question of virtue. What is wrong and right sometimes pertains to all things that are done in an organization.  Ethical issues mainly emerges when moral issues are interweaved in personal relations, thereby creating a system that defines what is right  or wrong in organizational management (George and Lazareth, 2003).  In their daily jobs, managers usually deal with multilevel moral and ethical issues like racism, prejudice, bias in work ethics, bias in personal connections, fixation of work hours, conditions in the work environment, methods of punishing wrongdoers, promotion, and many others. These moral and ethical issues usually arise in different stages of management job.

One practical example of moral and ethical issues that face management emanate from hiring process.  I have experienced a case of hiring dilemma where the human resource manager had to choose between a person with disability and a qualified person. The job description of the vacancy entailed moving files from one office to another two blocks away. During the drafting of the job advertisement, the manager had clearly noted that the company is an equal opportunity employer, which means that although the job involved physical movement, it did not indicate physical fitness requirement. After the interview process, two candidates were considered most appropriate for the job. One was a female candidate and the other was a handicapped male who was always on wheel change had had experience as a clerical officer for more than five years while the female candidate had experience for more than three years.  The manager was in a difficulty situation and had to make decision on who was most appropriate for the job. In addition, this situation also presented a complicated situation because it involved legal issues pertaining to affirmative action. The disabled candidate had proved that he was in a position to carry out the job carrying the files on his wheel chair while the female candidate had proved that she can do it. The human resource manager could not prefer one candidate over the other because both were protected by affirmative action and equal employment opportunities. In this case, the manager had to make a difficult decision based on the need not to alienate one of the candidates since both were considered to be minority groups requiring affirmative action. The nature of job however showed that that disabled candidate could not effectively carry out the job owing to physical requirements of the job.

In their daily operations, managers will be faced by many situations like this one. It becomes hard to make the most appropriate decision that shows ethically responsible management. The case mentioned above shows that managers are sometimes forced to make hard decision when faced with ethical and moral dilemma. Sometimes management is not considered a lone job since managers have to engage wit other managers in the organization before making decision. When faced with and moral challenges, it is important that managers make a wide consultation to ensure that everybody in the organization put in contribution to the decision (George and Lazareth, 2003). This is likely to reduce resistance to the decision that managers make. Although managers can show their high level of understanding of the situation, consulting with others makes it possible to make decision that is agreeable to  all people. Moral and ethical issues are challenges that managers always face and it is important that managers understand what to do when faced by such situation.

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