Work-Related Ethics

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's December 2001

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A study was performed at mid-west universities aimed to determine what influences people's decisions when they are presented with a work-related ethical dilemma. The participants consisted of 307 students, of whom 58% were men and 42% were women (Kreie and Cronan 1998, 72). It is interesting to point out that this study was done to research employee behavior when faced with an ethical problem in a work place. The results of this study were intended to give managers an idea of how people think and what will alter their behavior to do the 'right' thing. Why is it then, if you are researching a professional environment, would you perform the study on college students? Only 55% of the students surveyed have had fulltime work experience (Kreie and Cronan 1998, 72). College students, especially those that have not had work experience, are less aware of rules that pertain to the business world.

They do not understand the responsibilities of a job and company ethics. This lack of experience will lead most student participants to answer the survey questions with what they think the researchers want to hear, instead of their own beliefs. Which will, in turn, provide inaccurate information to managers who will want to use this feedback in their businesses. In addition, most of the scenarios in this survey are ambiguously stated. In other words, some important details of the examples are a bit unclear, which can stem to several different interpretations by the study participants. This could lead to different responses than to what the participants would have said if they had been aware of all the particulars. I think that this survey has many setbacks and I will go on to analyze each question separately.

The first question asks, "Is making unauthorized program modifications acceptable?" (Kreie and...