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Organizational Ethics in Times of Change

Maggie Anaya
Vanessa Luna
Amy Guerra
Felix Zamarripa
Michael Cortez
Julio Gutierrez
Jessica Cavazos
Instructor: Dr. Addae
ORGL 4341

In today's hyper-competitive global organizations change and growth are no longer an
option they are a necessity. Companies have to work on continuous improvements in all aspects
from administration to production in order to stay competitive and remain successful. Many
organizations find themselves having to adjust day to day operations in order to accommodate
such changes. Changes bring opportunities for new creative ideas, for team building, and for
ethical structured practices. Contrary to the saying, out with the old and in with the new", new
ideas do not always mean better and old ideas do not necessarily mean they have to be tossed
out. Ethical and social responsible behavior is an important part of a structured organization and
has to remain the fundamental basis behind change above profit maximization and self-interest.
The problem with maintaining and enforcing ethical policies and procedures is highly
dependent of the variables influencing them. For instance, if a company is facing time pressures
like BP Gulf Coast did, this would create temptation to do what is expedient as opposed to what
is ethical. Short term advantages come at the expense of long term benefits. We, as leaders in the
company need to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we implement despite the outcomes.
We have to ensure the culture of the company stays in line with the vision of the organization at
all times so that we can ensure ethical leadership during times of change.
One of the basic principles in establishing a credible organization is its ability to maintain
its ethical integrity despite external or internal changes. The study will enlighten readers on some
variables that often may lead to unethical practices and how they affect the employee output and

performance. The importance of maintaining ethical integrity is that we ensure control and
consistency; it is also important because it reduces the difficulties that may accompany
Purpose / Goal
The goal of our Synthesis Project is to bring attention to organizations practices, promote
ethical decision-making during a time of change, and promote transparency in order to maintain
honesty as well as integrity. Ensuring that leaders are accountable creates a commitment to
ethical behavior during organizational changes. Transparency helps to promote communication
within the workplace during times of change, which ensures that employees are on the same
Research Questions
The study will be guided by the following research questions.
1. How do organizational changes and pressures affect ethical practices?
2. How well does accountability attribute to an organization maintaining its ethical
3. How can a company effectively keep employees motivated within the organization
when changes are taking place?
Literature Review
Classroom Lecture Notes, Textbook, Internet, EBSCO
Synthesis of Evidence
Ethics seem to matter during change for two reasons according to Monica M. Sharif and
Terri A. Scandura from the University of Miami. Leadership can find itself under strain and
create a compromise with moral principles; it will negatively impact the perceptions of

leaderships commitment to ethics (Sharif and Scandura 2014). Leadership that has consistently
demonstrated a commitment towards being ethical during times of change is more credible and
can positively affect the attitude and performance of the employees (Sharif and Scandura 2014).
It is important that leadership understands its direct impact on how employees interpret and
react to news about change within the organization based on how ethical the leadership is
perceived to be.
The several types of organizational change within an organization are downsizing,
restructuring, technology, merger, process-oriented, people centered, or other. The article by
Monica M. Sharif and Terri A. Scandura compared the relationship between ethical leadership
and employee involvement during organizational change. Ethical leadership is important when
an organization is going through change because employees trust a leader that demonstrates
integrity (McKee). Several studies have demonstrated the importance of having ethical
leadership while no studies investigate ethical leadership during organizational change (Sharif
and Scandura 2014). Most studies do not consider change when evaluating leadership; they
assume the organization to be stable (Sharif and Scandura 2014). In the study by Monica M.
Sharif and Terri A. Scandura organizational change and employee involvement were evaluated
on how they affected organizational change behaviors (OCBs) and employee performance. The
study considered 199 pairs of both a supervisor and an employee from a wide range of
organizations. The results in the study demonstrate a definite correlation of the three-way
interaction between ethical leadership, organizational change, and employee involvement in
change (Sharif and Scandura 2014). Their effect on organizational change behaviors and
performance can be seen below graphically in figure 1. The study showed that employees who
are involved in the organizational change process tend to perceive the leadership as ethical; this

leads to improved job satisfaction, improved performance, and positive organizational

citizenship behaviors (Sharif and Scandura 2014).

Through any organizational change people expect and deserve care and attention from
leadership (McKee). People can handle change and can help during the change process by
having good ideas about the specifics of the change (McKee). Ethical leadership needs to show
empathy and inspire employees to contribute in times of change. When leadership assumes to
control everything then there is a potential for leadership to be forceful, negative, or
manipulative (Mckee). Ethical leadership starts with emotional intelligence which consists of
self-awareness and self-management. Having these leadership abilities can cause employees to
pick up on leaders emotions and contribute positively. In times of turmoil, if the leadership
seems resentful or fearful, employees can pick up emotional cues (McKee). According to
McKee, in order to manage change with others, leadership must understand people. Leadership
must understand what employees will need and how they are going to be affected by change.

Leadership will need to know how to make employees want change (McKee). The more that
leadership knows about how the employee feels during change, they will have more success in
implementing change.
Due to time constraints and scheduling we elected to collaborate on relative material
online via google docs; a software application that allowed us to work collectively at our own
pace over the internet. An initial draft was created and made accessible to all team members then
edited by everyone on their own time.
Week 1: Identify group / team members and exchange contact information.
Week 2: Collaborate on Project Ideas.
Week 3: Come to a census on Project Topic.
Week 4: Assign and designate individual group tasks.
Week 5: Compare and discuss data and material found.
Week 6: Collectively contribute to synthesis project and submit.

We all have experienced or been witnesses to a disregard of ethical leadership and
mandatory practices during times of organizational change. McKee stressed the importance of
leaders having emotional intelligence skills, as well as how the lack of such skills causes
employees mistrust and lack of employee performance. Successful leadership during times of
change utilizes employee involvement and leadership transparency to create an environment
where job satisfaction, performance, and OCBs are enhanced according to Sharif and Scandura.

The goals of a company or organization during times of change should be strategically set and
involve its employees in establishing a positive view of the company and its leaders. The
company should strive to be positive and create lasting and positive change. These times are vital
and crucial to a companys growth and sustainability.

McKee, Annie. Management A Focus On Leaders. New Jersey: Prentice Hall,
2014. Print.
Johnson, Craig. Organizational Ethics A Practical Approach. New York Sage,
2011. Print.
Sharif, M. & Scandura, T. Do Perspectives of Ethical Conduct Matter During
Organization Change? Ethical Leadership and Employee Involvement. Journal
of Business Ethics. (2013) 185-196. Print.
Lewis, Jared. The Role of Ethics and Responsibilities in Leading Innovation and
Change. Hearst Newspaper: 2015