September 26, 2021

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Whistle-blowing

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  1. Depending on the actions taken by a corporation, some stakeholders will be positively affected and others will be negatively affected. Explain. 

Management of corporation often involves a balance of interests between stakeholders be it customers or clients, employees, governments or the shareholders. A key area that on many instances creates conflict is agreements on finances, payment of dividends and employee appraisals. Most stakeholders would often prefer to receive hefty payments as dividends or the same amounts be ploughed back to the business in turn increasing the value of their shares (Shao, Kwok, & Guedhami, 2013). Employees though interested in the growth of the corporation, would also love to be appreciated through bonuses or salary increase. For instance, in an event that the corporation decides to increase dividends, this will positively affect the shareholders while hurting the employees.

Furthermore, key decisions such as re-investing back dividends to a company, though it increases a stakeholders share value, it impacts negatively those who had budgeted for the payouts, or those who feel that the future of the corporation is uncertain hence their investments might be lost or decrease in value. In other situations, pressure from stakeholders to be paid handsomely may also leave the corporation in jeopardy and unable to grow or expand. Such a decision may be positive for the short term but negative for the long term.  Actions such as adoption of technology in corporations also may be positive and good news to shareholders but bad news to employees whose jobs might be taken over by technology.

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It is thus imperative to always strive to create a balance in decision making so as to take actions that result in adverse effects but also not be too lenient to the extent of hampering progress and growth from the fear of taking certain actions. Furthermore, it is also possible to achieve actions that are accepted across, due to their justifications and minimal impact on shareholders. Corporate leaders should be brave enough to take actions and stand by such actions.

  • Child-care and flexible work arrangements are ethically important and can be cost-effective; yet only few companies strive seriously to provide them. List and explain three moral considerations when companies provide them.

One moral consideration is that employees would be honest and hold up to their end of the bargain (Townsend, McDonald, & Cathcart, 2017). If a company is to allow flexible work arrangements, then employees must be honest enough to be at work when they are required to be working as well as be productive just as they should have been expected to without such flexibilities. Without honest, there is a possibility that employees will lie to the employer that they are working just because there is no immediate monitoring while undertaking personal initiatives. This also applies to cases where employees have valid reasons and are honest enough to warrant being given flexible work arrangements.

Employee safety is another moral concern, in the advent of Covid-19 pandemic, companies have been forced to create flexible work arrangements just to ensure the safety of their employees. In cases where working from office premises would potentially further endanger livelihoods, it would only make sense morally to create a plan where employees can report to the office in shifts or even work from home to minimize the danger. There are also situations where an employee is unwell and with conditions that limit their movement or require them to be at certain places at certain times, if such employees can be able to remain productive while away from the office premises, it would be morally upright to allow them a flexible work plan.

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Another moral consideration would be government regulations, for instance where there is a public order for all persons to remain on lockdown, requiring employees to report to work without any adjustments to work environments, would mean putting them in conflict with the law and perhaps even risking them being arrested and prosecuted. In this case employee interests would be a basis for moral consideration by understanding current circumstances and doing the best to cater for the interests of all parties.

  • Although the motivation of whistle-blowers is honorable, the state of whistle-blowing is a morally problematic action. Discuss three situations whereby whistle-blowing is morally justified.

Whistle-blowing is still not a common occurrence in many fields as most people do not have the courage to do it or do not feel they will be protected enough after whistle-blowing (Bouville, 2008). Nevertheless, it is only honorable when it is done as guided by morals. The first scenario where such actions would be justified as moral is where an employee working with a company has knowledge that a product or policy will consequently lead to significant harm to the society. In situations where a company is secretly using a non- declared potentially harmful ingredient in the manufacture of consumer goods, whistle-blowing would be justified as such actions would be made with the interests of the public at heart as opposed to individual interests.

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The second scenario is where a person discovers a serious threat that would potentially harm employees, consumers or other stakeholders would justify whistle-blowing. A good example is where a pharmaceutical company is paying bribes to government agencies to obtain approvals for the manufacture and sale of potentially life threatening drugs. Silence in such a case would mean approval for such companies to harm the public. Whistle-blowing would be an honorable act and would potentially save the society from undue harm as well as expose corrupt business practices.

Lastly, where a person explains oneself with valid justifications that exposing a wrongdoing to the public will significantly contribute to execution of measures to avert the situation. An example is where a legislator finds a loophole in law secretly inserted by the drafters to allow them achieve certain personal objectives. Whistle-blowing will possibly lead to detailed investigations, arrests and more importantly amendment of the laws to seal such loopholes. Whistle-blowing is more honorable when the whistle blower, is genuinely interested in averting a crisis rather than just getting back at an entity for some wrongdoing.

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