Solving Ethical Dilemmas in Business
Dilemma #1 (Item #2): Drug Use on the Production Line
Drug use is a big problem. Companies whose employees abuse drugs suffer expensive losses due to issues in productivity as well as safety. If employees in the production line abuse drugs, then it is more dangerous especially if they use or operate heavy or dangerous machinery (SAMHSA, n.d.).
If a crew member comes to me with a drug use concern among her co-workers, it is my job to make sure that these concerns are addressed and communicated to the management. The first thing that I should do is to ask for specific information from the crew member. If the crew member cannot give any more information, or is unwilling to, I would file a report about the incident, omitting the crew member’s name to protect her and abide by her wishes to not get involved, and submit it directly to my boss with a recommendation to immediately start investigating the claim.
Because of the nature of the concern, I would discuss with my boss how we would go about with the investigation; everything should be done according to company policy. The Human Resources department should be involved and, depending on discussions with the managers, an outside consultant could possibly be involved to avoid biases and controversies.
Since substance abuse in the workplace is a serious matter, even a non-specific concern should be investigated following the company’s policies. Following company policies and procedures will make sure that no rights are violated and the company doesn’t get entangled in legal issues.
The criteria used for determining my actions for this dilemma is effectiveness; effectiveness of the company’s standards and the effectiveness of the company policies. Every company has policies regarding substance abuse and the steps that I would take are the usual steps in handling substance abuse concerns.
The company is also looking at the effectiveness of the person. If a person abuses drugs, he is a danger not only to himself but also to the people he works with and the company he works for. If the substance abuse is widespread, the company could lose a lot of money because the effectiveness of these people in their work suffers. (SAMHSA, n.d.).
Dilemma # 2 (Item # 7): Miscommunication in the project team
Project teams are created to ensure that all aspects that needed to be covered in certain goal can be covered. However, since project teams are composed of people who have different functions and who do not normally work together on a daily basis, some miscommunication may occur.
In this case, there is a disjoint between how I and my two other peer from the training department and two customer support representatives view the project team. There are two issues to be tackled in this dilemma. The first is the work ethics of the members of the project team, and the second is the confidentiality of the project. Both issues can greatly affect the outcome of the training program.
As a member of the project team, the first thing that I would do to address these issues is to discuss with the team the importance of the training program, the goals of the training program, and the desired result of the training program. I would then propose that the project team define the specific role of each member in the development of the training program as well as the delegation of work.
The next thing I would do is to discuss the importance of keeping the details of the training program confidential until we are ready to roll out and implement. The project group was created to make sure that all involved groups are represented without the unnecessary confusion that results if everyone was involved.
All these discussions are to be recorded as minutes of the meeting and to be sent to all those involved. This would ensure that each person would know what he or she is accountable for and also as a reminder of the goals and importance of the program.
The criteria used for determining my actions for this dilemma is leadership. Though a project team is usually composed of people with the same management level, at least one should have leadership abilities to steer the project group to work toward one goal. When the members of the project team works with one goal and their role in achieving that goal is clear with tem, they will feel a sense of ownership for the project and the drive to make sure that the project becomes a success (Haughey, 2011).
Haughey, D. (2011). Helping project teams succeed. Retrieved from http://www.projectsmart
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. n.d. Why you should care about
having a drug free workplace. Retrieved from http://workplace.samhsa.gov/WPWorkit/