Corporate behavior

All posts tagged Corporate behavior

The Ethics of Handling Strong Emotions

Published July 28, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
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Many of us initially learned how to deal with strong emotions in our home environment. Those who had the most influence were the elders and guardians in roles as disciplinarians. As a result, we learned how to deal with strong emotions from the rules they implemented in addition to observing the actions that revealed their own coping skills when it came to handling strong emotions. To put it another way, when we are young, impressionable, and still learning how to navigate the world around us, caretakers that use yelling and screaming as a strategy, for example, teach children that screaming and yelling is an accepted method for handling strong emotions. However, this strategy rarely yields positive outcomes. In fact, it typically leads to the escalation of unmanageable levels of emotion.

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As we grow and process different life changing events, especially those powerful enough to shift our views, our emotions become heightened. In my ebook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I discuss this further and explain how some situations can produce positive experiences for us, such as promotions, marriages, and the birth of our children; while other experiences can produce negative outcomes, such as abuse, divorce, natural disasters, and so on (Berry, 2013). When families find themselves in a crisis situation where heightened emotions have reached uncontrollable or unmanageable levels, many will seek out additional support from other avenues that can include the clergy, spiritual communities, schools, or other kinds of family support programs. There are a variety of different support systems that can provide beneficial assistance for helping families. Many of them also provide higher levels of education that include training in practices to help support the development of coping skills.

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Ethics also play a big role in helping us handle emotions. For example, to place awareness on ethics in the decision-making process, it is important that we first identify, then transmit with clarity, what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In addition, we must also articulate clearly, a code of ethics and engage in consistent action when implementing consequences for misbehavior and misconduct. This not only sets the standard, these are instrumental strategies for building and supporting an ethical culture.

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Plum Village Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (2012) asserts that keeping open communication is also an essential component for managing strong emotions. Hanh further explains that there are practices that can be developed to help us handle strong emotions. The key is learning how to perform these practices when we are confident and feeling great, before our emotions are heightened. This is beneficial so that we know how to respond mindfully when we find ourselves in the heat of an emotional turmoil (Hanh, 2012). For instance, during those times when I feel that I am running on a short emotional fuse and am really having difficulty handling strong emotions, coping strategies have become a game changer for me. In other words, once I began incorporating strategies specifically developed to enhance my coping skills, it helped me manage my heightened emotions more effectively which in turn has led to  my feeling more joyful and balanced in my life with fulfilling relationships.

On Wednesday we will take a closer peek at how we can develop and implement our own coping techniques. Until then, stay organized!

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It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein
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References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

When is Lying as a Strategy Ethical?

Published July 18, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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My research on ethical decision making revealed that in order to create and maintain a successful business, leaders must include ethical decision-making as one of the firm’s operational processes. In addition, they must also comprehend and identify potential issues and educate staff members on what defines ethical decisions within the context of the organization. In their book, Business Ethics (2013) Ferrell et al., remind us that more often than not, business leaders automatically assume their staff members will make ethical decisions the same way they do in their home: with family or friends in their inner circle. However, within the construct of an organization or work group, not many people have the freedom to make decisions on ethical issues that are independent of the organization’s parameters. Furthermore, their research also revealed that to help establish an ethical environment, business leaders must also take into consideration the many components involved with the ethical decision-making process, including: (a) ethical issue intensity, (b) individual factors, and (c) organizational components including the corporation’s culture (Ferrell, Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2013). These are significant elements that can influence the intentions behind decisions which lead to ethical or unethical conduct.

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The media’s recent expose on the VA scandal, for example, revealed that the organization developed a culture that nurtured lying as a strategy. One reason was to ensure certain supervisors would qualify for monetary bonuses. However, this is an industry where implementing the use of lying as a strategy can cause great harm and brings extreme disgrace to their governmental organization, as well as to the public. In fact, the ongoing investigation continues to reveal, that this strategy yielded catastrophic outcomes including the fatalities of many heroic veterans who honorably served their country; veterans that trusted and relied on this government agency to provide them the assistance they desperately required in the healing process. This scandal was yet another horrifying reminder of how the use of lying as a strategy can have dire consequences.

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With all the evidence piling up to support that engaging in a strategy of lying can yield catastrophic outcomes, my research work also included a closer examination of when the use of lying as a strategy is acceptable and see if I could track down any examples to support this position. To answer this, I simply had to look back at my own professional career experiences to confirm that there is only one profession that I know of, in which this strategy is not only used, but is expected as well: magic and illusion.

As an entertainer who spent nearly fifteen years traveling and performing with magicians and illusionists, I can personally vouch that the career of an illusionist is the one profession where the public is happy to embrace the idea of lying as a strategy. Many magicians that choose to pursue this career path do so as a life calling. That was not the case with me. I revealed in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World, (2013), in more detail, how I got involved in this magical industry. The truth is, up until that point, I was focused on pursuing a career as a theatrical stage performer, but got sidetracked along the way when I moved to Los Angeles and infiltrated the music industry by becoming a corporate staff member at Capitol-EMI Records.

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The magic industry was my first experience working in a profession that incorporated lying as a key strategic ingredient for how I was making a living. I had always been perceived by many as a “goodie two-shoes” because I was known for going by the book and following rules to a “tee.” For me, using tactics like misdirection and misinformation was a foreign concept. I had to learn how to think outside the box of what I comprehended was reality. Once I did that, I was in a state of mind more open to embrace different realms of possibilities. In laymen’s terms, I learned how the art of lying and misdirection are used as a strategy to yield positive outcomes.

Stage illusions and the art of magic, once rehearsed and perfected for a live theatrical stage performance, are merely a form of entertainment that incorporates the concept of lying; one that the audience has come to expect. Many people are accepting of this concept because they know the rules of this field before hand (transparency) and have given themselves permission to participate in this world of illusion. The reason for this is because it is one brand of entertainment that can provide the public with a sense of wonder, which in turn stimulates them emotionally. Furthermore, the anticipated payoff for this experience is that the consumer is left feeling positive and transformed from the experience. In a world where competition is fierce and life seems to be a struggle at times, people need and want a place to escape. The entertaining world of stage magic and illusion offers the public an opportunity to experience a different kind of reality – one where the impossible seems possible.

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In summary, my research work on when the use of lying as a strategy can be implemented ethically, led me to conclude that the industry of magic and illusion is one market where consumers have given their permission and expect to participate in the art of deception as a form of escapism and entertainment. In short, my analysis revealed that there is an ideal market for the use of lying as a strategy that can produce positive outcomes. Plus, I discovered there are effective ways to do so ethically: being transparent and choosing a career that reveals to consumers it is all part of an illusion. In other words, implementing this tactic is merely done as a means of entertainment, allowing audience members the opportunity to escape their problems for a little while to enter into a realm where the wonder of magic is real.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone, and keep working on chiseling those organizational management skills!

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We can run a business by placing a lot of emphasis on happiness in addition to placing some emphasis on profit as well. – Thich Nhat Hanh

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References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Ferrell, L., Ferrell, O., & Fraedrich, J. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (9th ed.). Mason: South-Western.

 

Building an Ethical Foundation

Published June 16, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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The concept of success is difficult to define because it has a different meaning to each individual. For some, success equates to climbing the top of the corporate ladder to assume the role of an executive office. Another person’s view of success is being in service to others, like family, friends, and outsiders.  Baack (2012) postulates that the main concepts that most individuals identify as personal success include: (a) building an ethical foundation, (b) training and preparation, (c) finding the right fit with an organization, person, or group, (d) continual improvement, and (e) achieving balance in their lives. He further suggests that each of these components contribute to a satisfying life, relationships, and career (Baack, 2012). In other words, success can be defined in terms of the components required to help contribute to the greater good. This also suggests that each individual is capable of assessing ethical and unethical behavior. For example, had enough individual decision makers taken the necessary steps, perhaps companies like ENRON would not have engaged in misconduct.

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To build an ethical foundation, one must begin the process by developing a personal code of ethics. This typically begins by enforcing the golden rule. Common sense principles like this can help an individual to establish personal morals. Also, additional training in ethics and counseling can help with moral questions as they occur. This supports the concept that ethical actions are the starting point and ultimate goal to achieve any successful outcome.

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In my research work on ethical behavior for Ashford’s MBA program, some of which is compiled in my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I point out that individuals with no oversight, accountability, or consequences for their actions can become a danger to themselves and others. In short, a person with unlimited power, without unlimited compassion, is most likely to cultivate a climate of unlimited corruption. In addition, it can lead to the development of personality disorders rendering individuals with an inability to recognize inappropriate behavior. In fact, they can become so disturbed they are unable to see they have a problem (Berry, 2013). Governments do their best to regulate misconduct with laws and policies, but it is really up to each individual and corporation to develop codes of ethics and emphasize the significance of ethical training.

On Wednesday, we will take a closer look at ethical training and the preparation involved to help build an ethical foundation. Until then … keep organizing!

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If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. – Albert Einstein

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 References:

Baack, D. (2012). Organizational Behavior. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.