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Implications of ethical dilemmas on employees within the organization

Dulce Duran

South Texas College



The understanding of ethical dilemmas on employees within the organization helps the

manager or the person in charge to become aware of how to resolve a conflict in regard to the

organization’s health. Becoming aware and being able to resolve such a dilemma takes courage

and time in order to come up with a resolution. What is considered an ethical dilemma in the

organization? What are the conflicts if the dilemmas are not resolved, who can they damage?

What if, an illegal dilemma was to arise, what would an employee do, become a bystander or put

his or her foot down and make a difference?


Ethical Dilemmas

In any sort of organization, dilemmas and miscommunication is bound to happen, but to

understand the effects of dilemmas at the workplace is key in matters of resolving the conflicts.

The sort of conflicts that can arise in any sort of organization, would be for instance the lack of

privacy in the cause of social media and the on the growth of technology, the use of

discrimination and preferential treatment on certain employees, and even the use of bad

leadership from a leader at any establishment. Dilemmas can be created from thin air, in a sense

where if a person feels unappreciated or in unethical situation this is were dilemmas and conflicts

are created.

Awareness of technology

Technology is advancing at a rate that many people feel like it is out of their reach and

understanding. The way technology is being used now a days, is completely different when it

was in the early 1990s. For example, if a person wanted to find a relationship, then what that

person would do is go out and meet new people and maybe even find their man or woman of

their dreams. With the technology of today, if a person would like to find a significant other all

they would have to do is go on their phone and either make a profile and go on the search of the

person he or she is interested. The use of social media can be used for different forms of

advertising and making something popular, but it can also be used against someone or

something. By making profiles and putting their information on the web, there are many sorts of

risks that can become of this; getting their personal information stolen and can be seen by the

organization where he or she is working. In order to avoid any sort of risk that social media can

cause, many organizations are enforcing codes to their employees to become aware of what they

publish on their social medias. According to (Lauby, 2009), “people tend to interpret having the

‘right’ to express themselves online as implying a lack of consequences when they say stupid

things.” That's not the case. Your organization and its representatives need to take responsibility

for what they write, and exercise good judgment and common sense” (Lauby, 2009).

There is no sense of privacy when being on any sort of social media, employees must be

aware of they are expressing at all times.

Discrimination and preferential treatment

Corporations, organizations, and companies have passed laws and practically anything

that tries to prevent discrimination and preferential treatment. Even with all these policies and

laws being passed it seems like these dilemmas keep occurring. No matter reason it being that

the leader acknowledges himself or herself, discrimination and favoritism are unethical and

should not be used in the workplace.

In the example that was introduced in the video by Brooke Deterline, where she

confronted a dilemma that involved a former coworker was doing illegal actions at the workplace

and she had the choice of becoming a bystander and just avoid the illegal action or actually step

in and make a difference. Ms. Deterline was in a meeting and was to make a decision that might

cost her own job, but she, without a doubt, told her boss of the illegal actions of one of her

former coworkers that was committing. She was aware that the coworker that was doing the

illegal actions was her boss’s friend, and even with this information she went on with her

accusation. She told her boss in front of all the people at the meeting of the coworker and the

boss gave this answer, “I think we should do some more research and give it a little time” (T,


Was the reply from the boss a case of favoritism because of the former coworker being

his friend? The resolution and the end result of this event ended up where it should have been,

the boss coming to understand the situation and putting all feeling toward the coworker and

firing the employee for liability of illegal actions (T, 2012).

Bad leadership

It seems like leadership and parenting have a lot in common; how ever parents’ parent

their children the outcome can either come out positive or negative, and in being a leader his or

her leadership it has the same steps as parenting. As a leader, he or she must become aware of

their actions because if the leader is careless, the probability of the employee’s actions and

behaviors at the workplace would be unprofessional and unethical.

Becoming a leader means to be nurturing the business by molding the employees to be

moral and ethical. According to (Institute of Medicine, 1970), “Organizations can influence

ethical conduct, according to Ozar, through positive impact on their members’ ethical awareness,

judgment, motivation, and implementation” (Institute of Medicine, 1970). Having an

organization that implements compassion and empathy, as a leader he or she must express these

actions towards the employees. The result of a manager showing these actions towards others is

that it motivates the employees to be compassionate and show empathy towards other at the

working environment. Another example, of becoming a better leader would be to help the

employees when in need of help, these skills are going to be acquired by the employees if it is

expressed by the leader. If the employees learn to become compassionate, respectful. empathetic,

and become helpful towards their coworkers, then the dilemmas and conflicts would reduce in

the work place. You reap what you sow.

Making a difference when dilemmas arise

When coming across dilemmas and conflicts, many people just tend to avoid problems

and choose to ignore all the problems at the work place, but what can be done? Will it make a

difference, if one person were to speak out?

A survey was given to thirty thousand people in regards of their point of view of

businesses following their policies and ethics, and only twenty-eight percent thought their

businesses were on the right path (Meinert, 2018). Only twenty-eight percent of thirty thousand

people, that an outrageous percent. It makes me believe that whatever the policy makers and the

law makers are creating it is not enough to stop corruption at the workplace and all of these

results are the cause of ethical dilemmas that employees go through at the work place.

Having to understand that as humans we are prone to make mistakes, but now a days, as a

future leader I must become aware of what is done in social media, understanding that

discrimination and favoritism is not a myth and it does happen in the workplace, and also to be

able to acknowledge when I am wrong and when I make a mistake to my fellow employees. As

how leaders make mistakes as employees are going to do so too. According to (Meinert, 2018):

She recalls an incident involving a midlevel manager who was running a side business

from work. He rationalized that it was OK as long as he was getting his job done.

However, when he disciplined a staff member, the staffer complained to HR about the

double standard: Managers could break rules, but others couldn't (Meinert, 2018).

It is also important for the employees to have morals towards their superiors, but in

previous example, the employee did the right choice in reporting the manager. Managers at times

can get trapped in an illusion that they are better than the rest because they are managers of the

business or organization. As how there are restriction for the employees there are restrictions for

managers too.

The main focus is for all the employees to acknowledge their mistakes and actions in

order to resolve the dilemmas and conflicts. All the workers from any organization must train

their mind skills of what is done in the workplace. Any issues that arise in an organization for

example as conflicting goals, dilemmas, and avoiding dilemmas are what to be on the look out

and being aware because these are signs of starting conflicts. Ethics need to be enforced in any

type of work place and need to be reminded to employees in meetings. If employees remember

ethics, then they will be able to recognize right from wrong. When having an understanding and

awareness of ethics in the workplace, it is proven to limit unethical mistakes (Meinert, 2018).

Ethical dilemmas will arise in the workplace and this is where leaders will be in charge to make

an ethical decision. If the manager, leader, and or the owner of the establishment wants their

employees to follow ethical behavior, then the leader must motivate his employees by practicing

what they are enforcing (Casselbury, 2018).

In conclusion, having understood how implications of ethical dilemmas on employees

within the organization can affect not only the organization but everyone in the work place. By

having a work place that has discrimination and favoritism, is not aware about what happens

when publishing on the web, and most importantly not being aware of self’s actions since leaders

are the role models or the employees, the end result would be of a failing company and will not

succeed if it is not cared for.



Casselbury, K. (2018, June 29). Common Types of Ethical Issues Within Organizations.

Retrieved from


Institute of Medicine (US) Board on Health Sciences Policy. (1970, January 01). INSTILLING



Meinert, D. (2018, April 11). Creating an Ethical Workplace. Retrieved from


T. (2012, September 11). Creating ethical cultures in business: Brooke Deterline at

TEDxPresidio. Retrieved from

Lauby, S. (2009, June 02). 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy. Retrieved from