Ethical Challenges For Business Research Papers Example
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There are a number of ethical challenges that often face individuals within different businesses. The Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC, is the code of behavior that governs interstate commerce in the United States of America. Before the Uniform Commercial Code, there were problems when the states within the United States tried to do business with each other, because each state had a distinct set of rules and regulations that other states had to comply with. Once the Uniform Commercial Code was put into practice, it became much easier for states to expand their business into other states as well.
In the Robinson and Morrison (2000) study, the researchers examined the issue of psychological contract breach by management. The authors write, “It was found that perceived contract breach at time 2 was more likely when organizational performance and self-reported employee performance were low, the employee had not experienced a formal socialization process, the employee had little interaction with organizational agents prior to hire, the employee had a history of psychological contract breach with former employers, and the employee had many employment alternatives at the time of hire. Furthermore, perceived breach was associated with more intense feelings of violation when employees both attributed the breach to purposeful reneging by the employer and felt unfairly treated in the process” (Robinson and Morrison, 2000). In this study, the researchers discovered that the shadow of inconsistency and mismanaged information cast a severe pall over the interaction between the employers and employees within the organization.
The managers and employers studied by these researchers fail the test of being servants and of total honesty. They have not engaged properly with their employees, and as a result, have not conformed to the Biblical principles of business. However, this is not altogether surprising, as many businesses engage in unethical practices that lead to the mismanagement of business relationships.
The Lester et al. (2002) study also examines the psychological impact of contract breach on the supervisor and employee relationship. Lester et al. (2002) write, “The data suggest that supervisor and subordinate perceptions are most likely to differ on the extent to which the organization violated its obligations to provide fair pay, advancement opportunities, and a good employment relationship. In addition, the results indicate that the greater the degree of psychological contract breach reported by subordinates, the less committed they are to the organization and the lower their job performance” (Lester et al., 2002). In this case, the employers are guilty of the same breaches of misappropriating information and the shadow of irresponsibility. They are also guilty of being deceptive and expecting more than the just weight for their business investments. While they do not necessarily breach the UCC-- the study focuses on the relationship between employees and employers, not customers and vendors-- they are definitely behaving in ways that breach the Biblical code of conduct for businesses.
Zhao et al. (2007) are the third and final group that examined the issue of psychological impacts of breach of contract. They note that there is a definite long-term impact on the employee when an employer breaches a contract; there is a feeling of distrust and overall discomfort in the workplace that is fostered between the employee and employer when the employer breaches contract, even when the contract is not necessarily related to the employee. In addition, breaching contract has the added effect of making the employee overall less satisfied in his or her position. The more shadows that the employer has over his or her organization, the worse the situation becomes for those individuals who are working for the organization. When an employer mismanages information or acts irresponsibly in the context of business contracts, the employees of that person often lose faith in the business. In some contexts, the employer may even be violating the UCC-- particularly section 2--if he or she fails to uphold contracts.
Fansworth (1963) is an older discussion, but it is an interesting one in that it discusses the importance of good faith performance and commercial reasonableness in the context of the UCC (Fansworth, 1963). The idea of commercial reasonableness is an important one, and one of the reasons so many states initially resisted the implementation of the UCC in the first place. It demands significant standards of behavior for the states within the United States, and some of the sections of the UCC are extremely contentious. Even within the overarching context of the UCC, it is important for businesses to act in good faith with each other. Fansworth (1963) notes that there are certain businesses that act within the strict structures of the law but do not act in good faith.
Howard (1988) looks at the other end of the spectrum, which is very interesting in the context of the discussion of sales and leases. Sometimes it is not the employer who is acting poorly but the customer; however, the vendor or seller also has a responsibility to act in response to poor or unethical behavior from a customer in a responsible manner. If the vendor or seller reacts to unethical behavior by acting unethically, then they cannot be considered to be ethical under the standards of Biblical business ethics as set forth by White, because they are not acting to serve their customers to the best of their ability. Although White does suggest that businesses strive for the best they can, he does not suggest fighting fire with fire in the context of business ethics.
The final discussion is the Summers (1968). Summers suggests that acting in good faith is the final key to the success of the UCC; if businesses do not act in good faith, then the UCC cannot have any real power. Indeed, Summers (1968) suggests, contract law will become increasingly complex and convoluted if businesses allow the shadow of misinformation and irresponsibility to fall over their particular interactions with their customers, particularly their out of state customers.
There are a number of issues that must be raised when discussing the UCC and the issue of Biblical business ethics. When bringing Biblical theory into business, there is always a risk of mixing religion and business too closely; however, the Bible does provide a number of ethical structures that make discussing business ethics in the context of Biblical studies more than feasible. These structures have been laid out by White, and to fulfill the necessary requirements, the businessperson must always ensure that he or she acts in the best interest of both the customers and the employees under his or her control and oversight. White lays out the structures in such a way that even a layperson with no religious training can utilize them effectively.
Farnsworth, E. (1963). Good Faith Performance and Commercial Reasonableness under the Uniform Commercial Code. The University Of Chicago Law Review, 30(4), 666. doi:10.2307/1598757
Howard, R. (1988). The Negligent Commercial Transaction Tort: Imposing Common Law Liability on Merchants for Sales and Leases to "Defective" Customers. Duke Law Journal, 1988(4), 755. doi:10.2307/1372573
Lester, S., Turnley, W., Bloodgood, J., & Bolino, M. (2002). Not seeing eye to eye: differences in supervisor and subordinate perceptions of and attributions for psychological contract breach. J. Organiz. Behav., 23(1), 39-56. doi:10.1002/job.126
Robinson, S., & Wolfe Morrison, E. (2000). The development of psychological contract breach and violation: a longitudinal study. J. Organiz. Behav., 21(5), 525-546. doi:10.1002/1099-1379(200008)21:5<525::aid-job40>3.0.co;2-t
Summers, R. (1968). "Good Faith" in General Contract Law and the Sales Provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. Virginia Law Review, 54(2), 195. doi:10.2307/1071744
ZHAO, H., WAYNE, S., GLIBKOWSKI, B., & BRAVO, J. (2007). THE IMPACT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT BREACH ON WORK-RELATED OUTCOMES: A META-ANALYSIS. Personnel Psychology, 60(3), 647-680. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2007.00087.x
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