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Example research essay topic: Nature Of Human Ethical Values - 1,561 words

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Hypothesis Strong cultures can enhance the reliability of firm performance under the right environmental conditions. Addition of the ethical values to the work place leads to the productivity improve of the employees performance. Performance reliability depends on two factors: the consistency with which a company performs its organizational procedures and the degree to which the routines are adapted to changing environmental conditions. A key factor influencing performance improve is therefore the nature of change in organizational routines in response to experience. In this new millennium, the ways our organizations will be structured are going to have a dramatic effect on the way organizational programs will be conducted. How and why are organizations changing?

The old hierarchical command and control management style is being replaced by one that is visionary, flexible, innovative and responsive. This shift in management philosophy means that organizations will be able to respond more quickly to change in order to be competitive. Employees, instead of being viewed as a means to an end, will be viewed as valuable resources, parties to attaining the organization's goals and objectives. This transition has already begun in a number of companies and is gaining momentum.

The reasons are multifold: increasing global competition, increasing knowledge base of employees, development of new technologies, increasing numbers of mergers and acquisitions, new regulations and legislation, and increasing size and complexity of organizations, among others. 1 Management is learning that the integration of culture and ethical values play a very important part at the work place. This new way of thinking includes the way culture is perceived in the organization. Enlightened management knows that an effective and efficient culture program provides companies with a definitive competitive edge. The old management style viewed employees as a necessary evil and considered injuries and accidents a part of doing business. The new management style views employees as valuable resources. These managers realize that they have to provide the ethical values in the company that communicate the importance of safety throughout the organization.

They are aware that what they value and how they behave are the primary methods for getting a positive safety message across to employees. Though many organizations have changed the way safety is viewed and treated, many companies still practice the old management style. The reason for the difference is based in the corporate culture of the organization. 2 Corporate culture represents the worldview of upper management as embodied in their assumptions, values and behavior. Assumptions are unconscious and taken for granted. Within the organization, the shared assumptions of management underlie the corporate culture. Examples of assumptions concern the nature of people and the nature of human relationships.

Assumptions about the nature of people have to do with how others are viewed. For example, are people basically lazy? If you give them an inch, will they take a mile? Do they, therefore, have to be closely monitored to make sure they are doing their jobs? Or are people basically hard working and conscientious? If so, give them the latitude to do their jobs, and they will perform extremely well.

Depending upon the assumptions regarding people, employees may be treated as a cost of doing business or as a valuable resource. 3 Organizational performance in changing environments depends on the ability of the firm to modify its routines in response to changes in conditions. The nature of environmental change therefore affects the relationship between culture strength and performance, since organizational routines embody assumptions about the state of the environment and the expected path of change in external conditions. When environmental change is incremental, and therefore consistent with the basic assumptions underlying the organization's routines, organizations achieve reliable performance through corresponding incremental adjustments to routines. The consequences of strong cultures together with ethical values, enhanced coordination and control, goal alignment, and increased motivation, should all increase the speed and accuracy with which organizations adapt to incremental changes in their environments. In relatively stable environments, strong-culture organizations should exhibit more reliable performance than organizations with weak cultures. It happens because they are more adept at refining and improving established competencies.

But excellence at exploitation comes at a cost. (1). Another group of assumptions deals with the nature of human relationships. The ethical side of this issues, combined with corporate structure, plays a very important role. An example is the organizational chart of a company in regard to who reports to whom and how work relationships are structured. Included in relationships is organizational communication concerning who speaks to whom.

For example, are employees encouraged to speak freely to management and to offer suggestions and new ideas? Or is there only top-down communication where employees are told what to do, and no feedback is expected from them? These various assumptions are perceived as management's definitions of reality and are expressed as management's values. Top management's values represent the organization's standards that influence nearly every aspect of the working environment.

It includes how things "should" be done in the company. They include organizational standards of desired ends and preferred actions to attain these end points. For example, maybe profit is the primary goal and, to achieve this end point, production is stressed over ethical values. These values are actually references that indicate the correctness of certain beliefs and practices over others. These values are expressed in management's actions and behavior. They are reflected by what management does, pays attention to, ignores, measures and controls.

It is through management's actions and behavior that employees become aware of the organization's meanings and learn what is expected of them and how to behave. Through a reward and punishment system, the culture in an organization is maintained. Management controls the organizational structure. Some of the elements of this structure are directly relevant to the level of safety performance that is realized. Among these are the placement of safety on the organizational chart, the number and type of rules and regulations, who does the decision-making and when, and job, tool and equipment design. For example, when management encourages employees to participate in decision-making, safety performance is higher.

Enlightened management is aware of the importance of employees being able to make decisions about their work environments. In this manner, employees have some degree of control over the way in which they perform their tasks and duties. There are some definite advantages to a company when employees are allowed to make decisions. For example, problems can be solved more quickly, more people provide input into decisions, and employees are less likely to feel alienated from those who make decisions that affect their lives. 4 A significant number of religiously committed managers in business and government feel a "gap" or "split" between their faith and the work they do. They sense that their faith has to make a difference in every part of their lives. But it is not always clear just what kind of difference it has to make at work.

The world of work often seems like a separate sphere, cut off from the rest of people's lives and operating according to its own peculiar values, goals, and rules. The religious convictions that may motivate people's actions usually remain unspoken there. It is a fact that becomes all the more significant when, in response to the pressures of the workplace, people find that they are about to compromise, or have already compromised, their deeply held religious or ethical values. How can a person deal with this two-way pull? 5 To help address the issue, the Arrive Program in Social Ethics for Business has designed an eight-week program entitled "Faith and Values at Work: A Seminar in Spiritual and Ethical Integration for Executives and Managers. " Its aim is to help executives and managers develop a faith-centered framework for thinking about themselves, the purpose of business, and organizational leadership. Can Culture and Moral Values Successfully Co-Exist? Since the early 1980 's, there has been increasing concern and discussion regarding business values, ethics and morals.

Modern organizations realize that ethics and profits are not conflicting concerns. In a recent survey, top executives of many organizations noted that good ethical behavior and values were a prime company asset. Many of the survey respondents showed that a substantial ethical foundation is one of the important components for long-term business success. However, ethics would appear to be a troublesome issue for many business owners and managers as they express uncertainty as to how ethics are properly defined and fit into their business activities. 6 Their uneasiness stems partially from an uncertainty about what ethics actually is to how it fits into the realm of business and business management.

According to Taylor, ethics has been defined as an .".. inquiry into the nature and grounds of morality where the term morality is taken to mean moral judgments, standards and rule of conduct. " Sathe goes a somewhat further by discussing how business ethics is concerned with both moral values and moral actions. According to Sathe, moral values are the basic ideals that are considered desirable for human interaction. The integration of moral values and culture would lead to honest and fair treatment of customers in accordance with commonly accepted social standards. Although therefore many explanations, which were offered for the current status of ethics in business and politics, very few have addressed the influence that organizational culture has on individual values and ethics. The organizational culture...

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Research essay sample on Nature Of Human Ethical Values

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