What are the moral responsibilities of managers
Moral Responsibilities of Managers
The moral responsibilities of managers’ whether in the private sector or public sector should be characterized with a manager perpetuating the law, fulfilling the legitimate duties of their position, observing the relevant codes of ethics and otherwise abiding by generally held moral principles such as honesty and not knowingly doing harm. A manager will be held liable for an immoral act if he had knowledge of it and had the ability to prevent it from happening (Cavanagh, 2005).
Moral managers subscribe to ethical leadership which requires the manger to be a moral person as well as moral managers. A moral manager should possess traits such as honesty, integrity and trustworthy. This involves respecting the soundness of organization and adherence to the codes set by the organization. This allows the managers to do the right thing, reason well and uphold the highest level of justice even in the most difficult circumstances. A moral manager learns from multiple social situations which allow him to have a vast knowledge of conflict resolution skills without harming any party in case a dispute arises. The personal standards developed by a moral manager enables him to be fair and considerate by making clear justifications in his mind. For example, a moral manager will solve a dispute between two staff members by being fair and sticking to their values and objectivity without compromising on the basis of relations or closeness to either party. In this case, he/she can rule against their own relatives and give solace to the grieved party even when they are their enemies where the case demands so (Waddock, 2007).
Most of the management decisions require the manager to face difficult moral or ethical situation in their everyday activities. Therefore they should be able to recognize the ethical aspects which drive the daily functions. When an issue is of legal matter, the manager should be able to recognize that by respecting the law and legal regulations which govern the conduct of various aspects of the issue so as not to break the law on the quest of being fair or ethical. This can pose a challenge where legal matters conflict with moral issues such that the manager is torn between respecting the moral elements or the legal elements of the case when the two options are equally bad. The ethical manager should thus make the decisions based on the best considerations, constraints and implications (Treviño, &. Brown, 2004).
A moral manager utilizes four major ethical reasoning which helps him in management such as. rights and duties, justice, utilitarian and ethics of care. Rights and duty involves the implication side of the rights granted to the staff. For example, the right granted against unfair dismissal also comes with the duty of working within the set guidelines to achieve the goals of the company. Justice requires the manager to uphold the law when deciding on moral issues. Just decision are required to be impartial, fair and observe equity. Utilitarian is another way of reasoning morally where the manger is expected to resolve a matter by considering the greatest good of the high number of people to be affected by a decision. Lastly, ethics of care requires managers to evaluate their decisions based on the outcome of the decision on network of relationships (Waddock, 2007).
Cavanagh, G. F. (2005). American business values with international perspectives (5th ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.
Geis, G. &. L. Kohlberg (Consulting Eds.), ( 2000). Moral development and behavior: Theory, research, and social issues. New York: Holt, Rinehart &. Winston.
Treviño, L. K. &. Brown, M. ( 2004). Managing to be ethical: Debunking five business ethics myths. Academy of Management Executive vol. 18 no. (4). pp. 69–81.
Treviño, L. K., Hartman, L. P., &. Brown, M. (2000). Moral person and moral managers: How executives develop a reputation for ethical leadership. California Management Review vol. 42 no. (4). pp. 128–142.
Waddock, Sandra. (2007). "Ethical Role of the Manager." Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society. Ed. . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 786-91. SAGE Reference Online.