Fayol’s General Principles of Management: Critical Appraisal
At the managerial level, ethics crosscuts individuals and organizations. Ethics are presented as a code of conduct. As a matter of discipline, knowledge of ethical demands may be distinct to real-life activities done or control systems of the organization. Arguably, this is because the ethical norms do not cohere with the organizational structure or overlook them, among other reasons. Ethical demand that assumes a character that distinguishes itself as good or bad is referred to as moral. Caveats within which ethical guidelines are considered (but not limited to) include the alignment to existing legal frameworks, equity in distribution, and character influence.
According to The Open University, organizations are finding it necessary to develop a code of ethics. This is a guiding tool for the managers. However, how suitable the code of ethics is in influencing the behavior of individuals within the organization defers in settings. This is squarely placed on the decision-making arm of the control system. Decision-making may be top-down or bottom-up, favoring either the vertical or horizontal hierarchy. The Open University explains that there is a paradigm shift in terms of issues that are addressed in the code of ethics.
While it is critical for an organization to draw an ethics code, the implementation is far much the turning point. Major environmental tragedies, financial frauds, and increasing supremacy of multinational firms, as well as the hype and public attention towards these organizations, have influenced organizations towards the ethics course. How suitable the ethics code depends on whether the concerns and good for all are well taken care of within the stipulations as well as the degree to which the code deviates from the existing legal frameworks and professional standards.
Others include the extent to which every staff within the organization observes the code, priority issues within the stipulation, and the expected level of abiding regardless of personal morals. The kind of ethical practices adopted by an organization should factor in significantly national approaches during transactions as these vary from one country to another. For instance, a multinational organization may have a pay scheme for its staff and may want to replicate the same to its other country branches, but it may become tricky, especially when an organization of the same genre operating in the foreign country pays lower than this.
Hence, the competing organization may feel that they are being unfairly rivaled and that this organization is imposing itself. However, some practices are universally morally wrong and thus, should not be entertained. For instance, developed states experiencing high quantities of hazardous waste have a tendency to exploit the lesser-developed states especially outdated electronic gadgets, and this has led to the poisoning of many. International agencies such as United Nations have come in handy in passing resolutions and conventions aimed at rooting out some of these malpractices.
There are ethical principles of the United Nations, especially with regard to the environment, that stand out. Principles of polluter-pays, precautionary, inter- and intra-generational equity, as well as respect to culture and traditions of the host community, including some of the pronounced tenets. As much as ethics are important, this should be aligned with the business’s bottom line. Otherwise, the essence of venturing could disappear, leading to collapse. In essence, the organization should seek to strike a balance between the societal needs as well as those from within. However, the organization should take the initiatives to ensure that they keep abreast with current demands while striving to stay afloat.
For instance, deploying cleaner production technologies that seek to prevent than manage waste as well as minimize resources going to waste during the production processes. These have an implication on cost-cutting as well as minimal damage to the environment. The rigorous screening of processes may be used as an incentive tool for staff to come up with better ideas of sustaining efficient processes as they are rewarded, for instance, through bonuses. Such a strategy improves innovativeness at the workplace but also brings in the aspects of teamwork as everyone seeks to ensure they are not failing while performing duties.
Close contact between senior and junior staff is symbolic of the unity of command and nurtures mutual respect. With the advent of green consumers, company products and services are being closer than before. Much as the company products may find their way to the shelf, some consumer groups are advocating among their members to boycott those that seem unethical. Green consumer groups and advertising campaigns for products that are deemed to care for the natural environment, the interest of the local community, as well as promote products whose producer adheres to proper legal procedures.
This has led to a significant reduction of malpractices such as unfair exploitation of resources at the expense of the local community and the use of raw products from endangered species in the manufacture of products. In addition, the use of technologies and raw items in the manufacturing processes that are massively polluting the environment, company involvement in unlawful deals as well as unfair competition with local companies by multinational firms have been reduced. However, this has given room to thrive on the black market, especially in the trade of parts of endangered species. Mainstream organizations are engaging in public relations exercises as a way of winning favor from the public.
Some of these strategies include fundraising for wildlife conservation, especially for species considered endangered, promoting awareness creation on issues of public interest, among others. The hype among companies and consumers has made the market penetration, especially among the elite society, stiff and has veered significantly away from the traditional taste, preferences, and demand-supply theory. The fact that a product must fulfill other criteria before getting to the shelf has led to companies not only employing professional staff but also dividing them into specialized segments to handle specific factors of manufacturing. Though segmented, staff are expected to work as a single unit such that the product finds its way in the market and meets necessary demands. For instance, the marketing department market advertises a product as environmentally friendly while the manufacturing department ensures that the ingredients used in the production meet the criteria.
The finance department ensures that proper procedures are followed in the procurements of manufacturing materials, as well as payments are made in a regular manner. This specialization is known as the division of labor. In some organizations, division of labor result in a management structure that form an intricate functional unit whose totality is not theoretically understood, but the whole system can be justified. This is referred to as machine bureaucracy. Corporate social responsibility refers to the voluntary consideration of societal concerns within the activities of an organization. This can be summarized as an organization having in mind the external relations. The organization pursues to influence the social and environmental aspects.
As organizations embrace corporate social responsibility, it is seen as a strategy to link with ethical habits, public and employee relations, as well as adhering to legal obligations set. Environmental-wise, corporate social responsibility has taken a strategic position in championing sustainable development through environmental conservation, best practices, and pollution prevention. An international case study is the signing of the Kyoto protocol. Climate change is taking a great toll as the earth’s temperatures are rising. This is bringing with it threats such as the risk of small island nations being submerged under with continued rising sea level, loss of ice caps, a threat to inhabiting species, increasing trends of desertification, among other concerns.
Industrialized nations are under immense pressure to sign the protocol as a commitment to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions as well as adopt clean energy development strategies. However, more nations are signing the protocol now more than before. The past has seen most nations quick to sign the convention and adopt a wait and see the strategy in the signing of the protocol. Policy formulation at the national level has seen organizations mainstreaming best environmental practices. For instance, ISO 14000 has been championed as an environment management best practice framework. Thus, more organizations are seeking certification and recognition through this.
ISO 14000 is packaged not only to take care of the mainstream environment but also to take a holistic perspective of the overall societal concerns. United Nations-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (UN-OECD) has set some expectations from companies. These include company dedication to the society worth, environmental and economic targets during their rolling out of their activities; preventing negative implications brought about by the company activities, their products, and services; equitable sharing of benefits accrued from the company activities with other stakeholders and factor in community interest while making decision process.
Others include sustaining and propagating sources of resources that benefit both remote and wider societies, forging both public and private alliances with other stakeholders geared towards achieving sustainable development, and being pragmatic in service delivery as far as observing best practices other than just exhibiting public relations. The concept of power within the organization set up ensures that staffs comply with laid down rules. This has a great influence on the managerial structure, especially on the chain of command. Well-structured management down cuts adverse impacts of bureaucracy. Such have a well-defined hierarchy of command.
Observing these hierarchies of commands cultivates the culture of respect and unity of command while defining borders of operation. Definite centers of power limit duplication of efforts as well as resources. However, there is a need to strike a balance on centralizing or devolving power to foster efficiency within the operations of the organization. According to The Open University, there are sources of power. Legitimization of power can be achieved through management structures as well as through symbolic figures and frameworks such as law.
Unraveling the maze of uncertainty within the organization is a potential source of power. This form is not well defined and works in favor of those who are skilled enough to perceive and seize the power opportunity from within. Control over resources is another source of power. In the sense that those who have control of more resources have power say and this is conceptualized in the zero-sum game.