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Management is the manner to utilize the resources effectively and efficiently. One of the major responsibility of a manager is to take decisions for betterment of the team as well as for each of the team members. Hence, arises the concept of ethical decision-making, wherein a manager is often required to choose between two right choices. The instant essay seeks to elaborate on this subject on the basis of a particular scenario where, I being the manager of an Australian Team, face the ethical dilemma to choose the request of individual team members against the decision of fully representing the team in the biggest sporting event.
Ethical decision-making faces the conflict of choosing between two right choices. Managers often experience this dilemma and hence are required to understand the different approaches to crack such a situation. The Utilitarian Approach focus on the consequences and on that basis attempts to maximise the good done and minimize the harm. The Rights Approach tries to protect the moral rights of the affected ones, and lastly, the Fairness Approach believes in treating equals equally.
In the present situation I am facing a dilemma between upholding of different set of “Code of ethics” to be followed by my Sports team or the ones required by the society, respectively. Being a sports person, the players have the prime duty to participate in the biggest sporting event of the world, however, it is not untrue that beside being a player they are also a part of the society and owe some responsibilities to their personal lives. Therefore, in such a situation I shall adopt the Rights Approach, which says that a human shall have the liberty to choose his own way. Considering the threat posed by the deadly virus in South America, the players should have the right to make their own decision.
Hence, being the manager I have undertaken the complex task of ethical decision-making and chose the request of the athletes over that of the coach, in compliance with the Rights Approach. This does not infer that accepting the orders of the coach would have been the wrong decision, and it was a case of Right v. Right. Therefore, it can be concluded that the persons being affected by a decision shall not merely be used as an instrument to realize the goal of others, but shall be given an opportunity to act at free will.
Management is the process of allocation of the resources, for different functions of an organization, in the best possible way and to enhance the level of efficiency. This task is undertaken by the manager, who at all times shall be required to make choices, among the available alternatives and choose the one capable of maximising the effectiveness. However, there may be an event where the managers are required to choose between two correct choices. One of the choices may be appropriate from one perspective and the other may be correct from some other perspective. Hence, arises the situation of ethical decision-making which pushes a manager to make a choice between two right options. This essay is an attempt to analyze the concept of ethical decision-making in context of a scenario, wherein I am the manager of an Australian Sports Team, participating in the biggest Sporting event of the world. The event is being conducted in South America which is affected by a virus. Owing to the same, players have requested to withdraw from the game and the coach is of the opinion that withdrawal by any player shall be in violation of the contract. In such an event I am required to make a choice and support either of the opinions. Hence, in such a scenario different approaches to ethical decision-making shall prove to be useful in opting for one of the choices.
The approaches to ethical decision-making assists in solving the complex situations, and enables the manager to make the most appropriate decision. The Utilitarian Approach suggests undertaking of actions which tend to provide the maximum good for maximum people. The believer of this approach analyze any situation in three steps. At the first it is required to explore and identify the available options. Second, the affects of each of the options on various people shall be determined, followed by which the benefits and harms suffered by each of the person shall be ascertained. And lastly, choice of the best of the options, which produces the maximum benefits for maximum people and also which leads to minimum harm to people, shall be made. While undertaking each of the steps the focus shall always be on the consequences the action in hand has on the persons, directly or indirectly. The affects shall be reasonably foreseen to be an immediate result of the said action in hand. The underlying principle is that the most ethical option is the one which produces the greatest balance of benefits against the harms. For instance, in a business scenario, adopting this approach would mean taking such decisions which tend to produce greatest benefits to the maximum stakeholders such as the customers, competitors, community etc. and cause minimum harm to all of them.
Another important approach to ethical decision-making is the Rights Approach which focus only on the rights of an individual to act in a free will. This approach has been derived from the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and few others, who were of the opinion that the fact that, human beings have dignity on the basis of their capability to choose freely the desires for their own lives, make them different from other beings or even things. It is further, believed by them that they have a fundamental right to have their choices respected by other beings in life. Hecker and Lorna L have also opined that people cant be treated as objects or instruments just to fulfil the goals of the society or other individuals. Hence, they cant be manipulated and it would be considered as violation of their dignity if restricted to act in a manner they want to. Beside this basic right, many other rights could be enforced by this approach. Some of the other rights could be Right to truth, not to be injured, privacy etc. In addition expecting an act or omission of an act as per the agreed terms between individuals shall also constitute to be a right under this approach. For instance if A and B freely enter into a contract or agreement, both of them have the right to expect actions, from each other, in accordance with the agreement. There is just one question this approach asks and that is if any action or omission of action violate any right of an individual.
Fairness or Justice Approach is another important approach which says that equals shall be treated equally and unequal shall be treated unequally. The approach finds its genesis in the teachings of Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher. Zhong Chen-Bo is of the opinion that treating unequal individuals equally is an act not in compliance with this approach. In other words, treating differently mannered people in the same way may not always be fair or may lead to unequal treatment. For instance, in the society there exists various kind of classes and groups, each having its own requirements. If the government decided to govern each of the classes with a single policy it may lead to unequal treatment. A single class may be imposed with a single policy and that shall amount to equal treatment. The fundamental question asked by this approach is as to how fair an action is and it is equally treating everyone or there exists any any discriminatory act. The Act of discrimination or favouritism tends to treat a selected class of people differently, without any justifiable reason to single out other individuals in the society. Both these acts are completely unjust and wrong, hence, are completely in violation of the rights provided by this approach. It is further believed by the followers of this Approach that Fairness requires similarity and consistency in the way individuals are treated. It expects to ascertain the benefits and burdens suffered by the class of people and this shall be the test of fairness and unfairness of any action.
The present scenario has posed a situation, wherein I am facing a dilemma between the requests of the athletes and the opinion of the coach. On one side there is this one important sporting event while on the other side there is health and personal life of the athletes. A different set of “Code of ethics” is required to be adhered to in the society a person is living. Being a sports person, it is expected of them to consider participating in the such an event as the prime duty but at the same time it is also not untrue that beside being a player, they are also a part of the society and family to which they owe some major responsibilities. It cannot be forgotten that each individual has its own personal life and certain desires to lead his/her own life in a certain manner. Therefore, in pursuance to the above stated facts and situations I shall adopt the Rights Approach, which liberates a human to choose his/her own way in life, and decide its priority between personal and professional life. Considering the threat posed by the deadly virus in South America, the players should have the right to make their own decision. It is important to consider that if a player is intending to start his/her own family, participating in the games shall prove to be in detriment due to the impact of the said mosquito-borne virus. The Rights Approach checks if the decision is violating the moral rights of any individual.
As per the approach, in the given scenario making the athletes liable for the breach of contract and forcing them to participate in the event shall be considered completely wrong and would be completely in violation of the beliefs of this approach. It is required to respect the interest and priorities of the players, especially when it is related to such an important part of their lives and hence, merits for protection for everyone. Though the players were responsible to participate in the mega event, they also have a fundamental right to be respected as rational human capable of determining their own paths in life. With this right emerges the requirement to protect the other rights of privacy, free consent etc. In the event the team members are forced to participate in the event against their own free will, and are used merely as an instrument for advancing the goal of the nation or the coach in particular, it shall be considered as clear violation of the Rights approach. However, if a free consent is given by them to used in such a manner and the consent has been given in full knowledge, it shall not violate any of the principles.
Hence, the players shall be given the option to make their own decision and choose the path in their life. As each one of them is capable as well as owns a right of taking a wise decision for themselves and further ascertaining the direction of their own lives. This does not imply that the stand of the coach is completely wrong as it is his own perspective. It has been made clear that each individual may have his/her own perspective and which may vary from others, however, in accordance to Rights approach the decision should not violate the rights of the person being affected.
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