Table of Contents
The essence and significance of organisational culture in a particular organisation cannot be overstated. Organizational culture refers to a set of shared principles, values, traditions and operational guidelines that influence the manner in which members of the organisation act. Culture in the organisation aids in the integration of organisational members to ensure they understand how to work and relate in the workplace. Moreover, culture helps the organisation to adapt to its environment and mission. Organizational culture can act as a basis through which moral and ethical principles are enhanced. Even though organisational culture can enhance ethical behaviour in the organisation, it can also diminish it.
Organizational culture can enhance ethical behaviour in organisations to a greater extent. Every organisation has a code of values as well as moral principles that govern the behaviour of employees or groups. These sets of principles guide the employees on what is permissible, acceptable and those that are not tandem with the moral values of the organisation. One of the ways organisational culture can enhance ethical behaviour is by coming up with a code of conduct (Nelson & Quick: 2011: 577). The code of conduct provides guidelines and norms that govern people’s relationships within a particular social construct. When an employee or an individual goes against the established norms and rules, it is considered as a deviance.
Second, organisational culture can promote managerial ethics as a consequence of enhancing ethical behaviour. The inculcation of managerial ethics ensures that ethical decisions define the behaviours governed by legal principles. Managerial decisions guide the behaviours and decisions of the managers. The managers have a role in fostering ethical behaviours by maintaining high moral standards and exhibiting appropriate behaviour (Nelson & Quick: 2011: 577). The code of conduct and managerial ethics are designed to guide relationships and behaviours in the organisation.
Although organisational culture can play a vital role in enhancing ethical behaviour, it is imperative to underscore that it can also diminish it as well. For instance, when an organisational culture does not encourage ethical conduct and a strict commitment to compliance with the norms and laws, ethical behaviour is diminished. Wulf (2012: 78) argues that a compliance program is only effective when the organisational culture ensures that the employees are guided by the ethical and moral principles established by the code of conduct. Organizational culture can also diminish ethical behaviour when there is no emphasis on the ethical values and managerial ethics.
Although organisational culture can enhance ethical behaviour in the organisation, it can also diminish it. Organizational culture can enhance ethical behaviour by promoting the establishment of a code of conduct that guides relations in the organisation. Managerial ethics can also aid in promoting ethical behaviour in the sense that managers behave appropriately and act as moral standards for other employees. However, organisational culture can also diminish ethical behaviour in the organisation. For example, when the organisation does not outline the ethical standards and fails to promote strict adherence as well compliance with the laws and regulations then the ethical behaviour is diminished.
Gendered Nature of Organizations
The structure and establishment of organisations have undergone an immense transformation in the modern dispensation. Today, organisations are governed and guided by the modern trends that ensure there are diversity and equality. Traditionally, women have been condemned to the periphery and alienated when it comes to organisation and management issues. While there have been changes that have allowed women space in the corporate world and management, inequalities remain. Women continue to lag behind as the men remain the dominant figures in the management of organisations. At both the top and the bottom of the employment pyramids, women continue to suffer the consequences of gendered organisations that elevate the men. Even though women have made significant progress in education and joining occupations previously closed to them, a collective majority of the organisations remain segregated.
The theory of gendered organisations puts into perspective the gender inequalities that manifest in most organisations. Soc (2014: 549–573) argues that gender inequality in the workplace is tenacious because it is established in the structure of most organisations. Many organisations prefer to employ individuals who have limited distractions outside the workplace. Devotion and loyalty to the organisational work are vital in ensuring employment for individuals. These preferences exclude the women. Women hold the title of primary caregivers in the homes and have the responsibility of caring for the family. These stereotypical tendencies alienate the women from the workplace. Ideally, most organisations view the man as the ‘ideal worker.’
Various processes produce a gendered organisation. Soc (2014: 549–573) denotes that division of labour, workplace interactions, organisational logic, individual identities and cultural symbols promote the idea of a gendered organisation. Organizational logic is a concept that draws attention into the manner in which hierarchies are legitimised and rationalised in the organisation. Moreover, the organisational logic encompasses job descriptions, job evaluations and pay scales. The organisational logic gives the managers the authority and freedom to perpetuate inequalities that affect the women.
Gendered cultures have far-reaching implications for organisational ethics. The gendered organisations are designed in a manner that they give the men an upper hand than the women. The stereotypical tendencies against the women cause them to be viewed with contempt in the organisation. The ethical implications of the gendered cultures involve undermining women and condemning them to the periphery when it comes to the management and affairs of the organisation. The place of women in the gendered organisations is not secure. Gender inequalities in organisations affect the women psychologically, emotionally and affect their well-being.
Although women have made significant progress in education and joining occupations previously closed to them, a collective majority of the organisations remains segregated. Women still face immense challenges in ensuring upward mobility in the organisations and gaining acceptance. Gender inequality in the workplace is tenacious because it is established in the structure of most organisations. Most organisations still prefer and value the input of men than the women. The ethical implications of gendered cultures are that they undermine women and disregard their place in the organisation.
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Dilemmas of Leadership and Justice
The success of every organisation depends on leadership. Leadership plays the role of ensuring that there are guidance, direction and proper management of the organisational operations. Today, organisations lay strict emphasis on the organisational leader and leadership styles employed to ensure the goals and objectives are met. Leaders often face a tough balancing act in dealing with the affairs of the organisation and managing people. Leadership dilemmas and justice are critical and require proper balancing to ensure that goals and ethical standards of the organisation are met as appropriate.
Leadership is always the struggle to foster a balance between the dilemmas of social organisation as well as functioning. There are fundamental dilemmas that always require the unrivalled attention, accommodation and adjustment. One of the leadership dilemmas is based on autonomy versus control. For instance, leaders often guide and sometimes micromanage people and groups within an organisation. On the other hand, leaders delegate authority and responsibilities to employees in various capacities. When leaders delegate these duties, they try to nurture autonomy. The leadership dilemma often manifest when it becomes relatively difficult to strike a balance between nurturing autonomy and guiding the actions (Rickards 2015: 66).
Another leadership dilemma is diversity versus unity. Leaders always seek purpose and harmony to ensure they minimise destructive conflicts. Consequently, leaders cultivate diversity because it is a source of understanding, innovation and ideas. The leadership dilemma arises when it becomes difficult to strike a balance between seeking harmony and cultivating diversity in a simultaneous fashion (Rickards 2015: 201). Finally, leaders are always confronted with a dilemma especially when it comes to ensuring a balance between integration and specialisation of operations as a whole. While leaders desire specialisation to solve the organisational problems, they also seek to promote the integration to guarantee the efficient functioning of the entire organisation, and that is a dilemma.
The dilemmas of justice manifest in almost every organisation. Ethical and moral standards are guided by laws established by the organisation. However, there comes a time when it is difficult to strike a balance between protecting the fundamental rights of employees and ensuring impartial and fair treatment of the people. Workers must always feel that they are being treated fairly. Pollock (2016: 101) argues that the perception of lack of organisational justice promotes negative behaviours. The dilemma of justice manifests when the organisation has to enforce the code of conduct without appearing to be unfair to the employees.
Leadership dilemmas and justice are vital and requires balancing to ensure that goals and ethical standards of the organisation are met as appropriate. Leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that the goals and objectives are met as appropriate. One of the leadership dilemmas manifests when it becomes relatively difficult to strike a balance between nurturing autonomy and guiding the actions. On the other hand, the dilemma of justice occurs when the organisation has to enforce the code of conduct and still appear to be impartial in the treatment of the employee.
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- Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J. C. (2011). Organizational behavior: Science, the real world, and you. Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.
- Pollock, Joycelyn M. (2016). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Cengage Learning.
- Rickards, T. (2015). Dilemmas of Leadership. Routledge.
- Williams, C. L., Muller, C., & Kilanski, K. (2012). Gendered Organizations in the New Economy. Gender & Society: Official Publication of Sociologists for Women in Society, 26 (4), 549–573.
- Wulf, K. (2012). Ethics and compliance programs in multinational organizations. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.