Various ethical issues are inherent in bribery in the workplace. First, the morality of an individual determines their involvement in corruption or not. People who believe the notion that the end justifies the means are likely to engage in bribery to get what they cannot attain or achieve under normal or legal circumstances. Subsequently, the culture of an organization also plays a role in corrupt practices. If a company does not have a valid, ethical compliance program, it is likely to overlook minor bribery incidents which might later become scandalous. The inability of an organization to identify corrupt practice and punish the offenders encourages the normalization of corruption.
Bribery can be linked to an organization’s management style because, in most instances, the top leadership is the critical player in the act given that they have more to gain. For example, the management at Securency wanted to get the note printing contract to boost their reputation shard working individuals, in turn promoting their credibility and other benefits. Most leaders find it easier to use bribes as a shortcut to achieving their set goals instead of ensuring that the employees play their part in an organization. From the case study, it is evident that the top management had approved of the payment made to Abdul Kayum thus the reason they threaten Mr. Hood to not delve into the matter. Furthermore, most of the people accused of soliciting the bribe in NPA and Securency were in the managerial positions. If the leaders are corrupt and love behaving unethically, it becomes easy for them to assume the ethical malpractice from their juniors, or they start encouraging them to do their work based on bribes and other unconventional means to keep the organization running.
Some ethical issues are involved in cases of discipline and dismissal in the workplace. For instance, discrimination due to one’s race, gender, age, and sexual orientation, wrongful termination, bullying, unhealthy environments, and little pay are some of the unethical practices in many organizations. For instance, organizations engage in wrongful termination as a form of punishing the employees or threatening them from pointing out certain malpractices or asking for better wages and benefits. It is not ethical to prevent the employees from giving their views on an issue that might affect them or the organization at large as it infringes on their right to expression. From the case study, Mr. Hood is fired from his job because of questioning the firm’s authorities on a legitimate claim. The employees and employees in an organization have rights concerning fundamental human rights, and it is necessary that these are followed when disciplining or terminating employees. From the given case, the NPA was wrong to fire Mr. Hood because his concerns were legitimate and would benefit the company. He has a right to sue them for wrongful termination, which over the years has seen many people get a lot of compensation. Had the situation been reversed such that Mr.Hood was the one offering payouts to the Malaysian agent, the management would have had a right to fire him because he would have broken the terms of his employment. However, employees have a right to dismiss or suspend an employee if he or she goes against the requirements of the organization or does not perform their duties. For example, the accused people from the case would have been sacked once it was identified that they were indeed corrupt. On the other hand, Securency would have been justified to fire Mr. Hood if his claims turned out to be untrue.
Whistleblowing is not a likable activity as one would assume because the accused and the accuser may equally suffer in the aftermath. Various ethical issues arise from this activity such as discrimination, untrustworthiness and being labeled a snitch. The conflict between an organization and the individual responsible for the act is one of the ethical issues of whistleblowing. Divisiveness is another moral issue as employees in an organization or people may react differently to the exposure resulting in different groups of people in a firm or society.
For whistleblowing to be conducted ethically, the motive of the whistleblower and those giving him or her credit should be made clear. Therefore, the primary consideration in whistleblowing is to identify whether the person acts ethically. Such questions such as is the action right or wrong need to be asked and whether the whistleblower is doing it because of genuine concerns or because of financial gains and popularity. Therefore, the action has to be done respectfully and silently that does not put the accused people or organizations at risk of harassment or discrimination by their colleagues and the public.
The case study describes ethical whistleblowing since the whistleblower does not bombard the internet with the bribery news at Securency bank. Instead, Mr. Hood has volunteered to provide information in a court hearing through a cross-examination. Those for whistleblowing support the practice as long as the whistleblower is sure that he or she has the right motivation and that their action is meant to create a more ethical environment in organizations and the stakeholders. Ethical whistleblowing is one which seeks to correct activity done by a person with the aim to make them better players in business or any industry as opposed to portraying them as lousy society members who do not deserve any respect or credit.
4 AAA Ethical Decision-making model
The facts of the case are that Brian Hood discovered that the NPA had dealings with a Malaysian Agent known as Abdul Kayum who receives $2.2 million as payment from NPA in 2005. After raising concerns with the management at Securency, he was told to shut up and cease from investigating things.
The ethical issues in the case are why the NPA gave the Malaysian agent a large sum of money, and why the Securency leadership downplayed the concerns by Mr. Hood. By not reporting the incident to the prosecution, Mr. Hood would have been neglecting his professional duties thus his decision to become a whistleblower was ethical.
The norms, principles, and values relevant in this case are that an employee in an organization is assumed by the shareholders and other business persons in the capital markets to have impeccable integrity and to ensure that the operations of the firm are run legally and ethically. As a secretary, Mr. Hood was expected to identify and report anything that might interfere with the firm’s objectivity or operations negatively.
There are two options that Mr. Hood would have had from the case. The first course of action, in this case, would have been for him to assume that he did not witness bribery take place; refuse to keep silent on the matter and report to agencies that deal with corruption cases for appropriate action.
The best alternative action that is consistent with the norms, principles, and values is for Mr. Hood to present his testimony to the anti-corruption authority and also inform them of the fact that the top leadership is aware of the malpractice.
There are consequences for each possible course of action. Under option one, Mr. Hood would enjoy better treatment by the firm or even be promoted, but in the long run, he would be vulnerable to legal and professional trouble once the bribery was found out. In light to the second option, reporting the matter to the relevant authorities would make him untrustworthy for other firms that are unethical. However, his credibility would be unquestionable, and he would be known as the person who provided information on massive corruption practices by the bank.
The ethical decision, in this case, is for Mr. Hood to report the matter, in other terms to become a whistleblower.
An effective, ethical program protects an organization from corruption and bribery scandals by identifying and preventing improper or unethical conduct from the employees alongside promoting adherence to the company’s legal and ethical obligations.
For the ethics program at Securency to be effective, the organization needs to provide training and education to the employees. Providing enough education and training will ensure that the company’s program code of conduct, policies and relevant procedures are well known and understood by the Security staff. Therefore, there is a need for proper training for all the Securency employees, governing authority, the organization’s leadership, and the agents. Proper training typically means that they receive training on the company’s code of conduct, the essential components of the ethics and compliance program. The firm is relatively large, and it needs additional specialized training for the various policies and procedures applicable to the specific workers who need them to perform their jobs ethically.
The second way to ensure that the ethics program is effective at Securency is to monitor, audit and evaluate the program’s effectiveness over a given time frame. The practice is n essential component of the program because it enables the organization to assess whether or not the ethical guidelines are being followed. The auditing should, however, be done by an independent body no avoid invalid outcomes. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, Securency has to determine whether the organization’s climate is ethical in the first place and whether the employees are comfortable to report on potential violations of the organization’s ethical rules, their view on the company’s commitment to ethical compliance, and naming the risks that the program does not address.
One major factor that Securency has to focus on is allowing for active lines of communication with the employees, concerning questions and complaints related to ethics. The Securency management has to provide a conducive environment such that the employees find it easy to communicate with the administration or compliance officers on various ethical issues that might arise. For example, the organization can introduce a hotline or helpline number to provide a way through which the employees and agents can correspond or seek guidance on ethics anonymously. On the same note, Securency has to introduce the non-retaliation policy and communicate it to the employees to encourage them to report any issues or practices by their colleagues or management that they consider unethical. From the case study, James Shelton and Brian Hood, Securency sales executive, and NPA secretary were fired after raising questions on the massive bribery in the company (Baker & McKenzie, 2018 ). A non-retaliation policy could have proved useful in this case since it is likely that more employees were afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.
After auditing and evaluating the program, Securency can also introduce various disciplinary measures and provide performance incentives. All this has to be done in all levels of the organization. However, appropriate disciplinary action or incentives will be case specific. The company can, for example, reward employees that report any ethical misconduct or those who have never been accused of corruption or bribery. Likewise, discipline can be in the form of a warning, termination, or demotion. If there had been enough emphasis on the punishment for any ethical misconduct, the case would have been swiftly dealt with and prevent any whistleblowing because it tarnished the name of the company although the culprits were very few. The accused people who orchestrated the bribe, for example, Cliff Gerathy, John Ellery, Myles Curtis, and Radius Christanto should have been fired by the firm leadership instead of waiting for them to face public prosecution(Baker & McKenzie, 2018,).
Last but not least, Securency has to take reasonable steps to address the ethical issues within or those that might arise. Doing so will provide the solution for some corporate malpractices and prevent further similar incidents. According to the ethical guidelines, if similar misconduct occurs in an organization, it is necessary to take steps to remedy the situation. The measures consist of any disciplinary action or modifying a more effective ethical compliance program.
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