While in a hurry to attend a staff meeting for which he was seven minutes late, Michael Butler, the Junior marketing secretary of a Logistics company in New York hurried past his colleague, James, who was steering his wheelchair up a ramp to get to the same meeting. Nearer to James than Butler was a new employee who seemed to have intended to help James maneuver his way up to the boardroom on the second floor of the companys premises. The new employees intention prompted Butler to rush past him since he was the one to deliver a detailed report in the meeting in which everyone was expectant and had been waiting for some minutes. Upon reaching the boardroom, a loud sound was heard just outside the door before a scream followed. Everyone was alarmed and rushed outside to see what had just happened. Butler led the way out and was the first to notice James lying down below the ramp with his broken wheelchair inches far from him. James lay down there in agony with a seemingly broken arm. Before the commotion could attract more attention, Butler ran towards James and attended to him eventually calling an ambulance which took him to a nearby hospital. A few weeks later, James was released from the hospital but refused to go back to work in the company before suing the company for neglect.
This case was purely an issue of moral and ethical conduct in a professional environment. The first decision which brought this circumstance was merely Butlers assumption that all was well with James despite the companys policy of standards which put trust in the hands of other employees to assist their physically disabled colleagues in relevant situations. An analysis in this scenario reveals that Butlers decision to assume the new employee would help James was a mistaken one. His decision, however slight and implicit as it was, resulted in personal injury to a colleague, caused him his job and landed the company in negative light of neglect with the belief that the company does not implement its policies(Goman, Carol and Rose).
To put this case in the context of ethics, it is of great significance to deduce that the point of convergence between moral intuition and moral reasoning is where ethical decision making is made. Theories of cognitive sciences have overemphasized the significant role moral intuition in decision-making. The intuitive, as well as the reflective cognitive processes of individuals, dictate how they read and perceive situations before making decisions (Zollo, Pellegrini, and Ciappei). There exists an innate human faculty which always pushes people towards morals principles whenever a decision has to be made. The difference is that people are wired differently, and some perceive some situations differently from others. The rational insensitivities towards ethical dilemmas are often caused by various factors including psychological problems. Some employees make poor decisions as a result of overconfidence or the failure to understand the complexity of the situations at hand. Also, the infidelity to personal responsibility and utter ignorance of laid down principles that guide professional coexistence.
In the case described here, the negligence of personal responsibilities and ignorance of the companys safety policies were seemingly the causes of the wrong initial decision which led to multiple problems for the company (Singh and Twalo). If this were my case as an individual, I would have taken the responsibility. The company would have treated this case with the seriousness that it deserves so that no such cases would have to be experienced again. Similar to what I have recommended, the company took a tough decision of suspending Butler for six months. James won the case in a court of law, and the company compensated him for inflicted injury and neglect.
Goman, Carol K, and Rose Itzcovitz. The Truth About Lies in the Workplace: How to Spot Liars and What to Do About Them. New York: Hachette Audio, 2013. Internet resource.
Singh, Prakash, and Thembinkosi Twalo. "Mismanaging Unethical Behaviour In The Workplace." Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR) 31.2 (2015): 515. Web.
Zollo, Lamberto, Massimiliano Matteo Pellegrini, and Cristiano Ciappei. "What Sparks Ethical Decision Making? The Interplay Between Moral Intuition And Moral Reasoning: Lessons From The Scholastic Doctrine." Journal of Business Ethics (2016): Web. 15 Oct. 2017.
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