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MGT 216 Week 3 Discussion Question 2

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In what way do the ethical responsibilities of managers differ from the ethical
responsibilities of regular employees?
What creates this difference? Is it possible to
manage ethics?
Response:
A Manager is responsible to the company first then the employees under his charge.
Everyone expects that most managers would be quick to report any act that breaks the company
policy. They are an authority in the workplace and must first consider the policy and procedures
they are ethically expected to uphold. Typically a manager is expected to go “by the book” so to
speak. This person would be quick to speak to the co-worker about their gambling as being
against policy. They may also discipline them with a write up or refer them to HR administrators
to discuss the gambling habit.
In this example, it may be possible to manage ethics. However it would depend on how strong
your bias is in relation to ethical or moral values.
Managers by virtue of their powers and connections can affect the future of the
employees and by consequence, the future of many people by the decisions they take.
Whereas at the employee level, one can only affect ones own future. Also a manager cannot
appear to be partial, whimsical, as that will greatly reduce his / her credibility with the
employees he commands. The manager is emulated by his employees who may be lionizing him.
His habits and quirks are duplicated by employees. Naturally, "bad habits" such as politicking,
back biting, scheming will have organizational consequences.
The scope and amount of the power invested in a manager by a company creates the
difference.
Like all parts of life, ethics can also be managed. People can be taught the
consequences of their actions when in position of power, by quoting known examples such as
Enron Power, and Barings Bank, where Top and middle -management caused the catastrophic
collapse of well performing institutions.

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