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BMEM 5103

ETHICS FOR MANAGERS

MAY 2018

Learning Center : SABAH LEARNING CENTRE

SEMESTER 2 / MAY 2018

Name : ELIZABETH KANDAUNG


Matric No : CGS01720602
NRIC No. : 810221-12-5136
Telephone No. :016 840 7921
Email Address : elizabethk@oum.edu.my

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TASK 1 (20 MARKS):

1.0 (a) USE OF COMPANY REPUTATION

Studies conducted by the World Economic Forum steadily report a decline in public
trust in large companies, paired with perceptions of a deficit in values in the global economy
(Arthur et. al. 2013:125). In counteracting this development, building and safeguarding a
favorable corporate reputation is an important managerial goal. One strategy to achieve this
goal is to engage employees. The relationship between a firm's reputation and its employees is
two-sided (Arthur et. al. 2013:125). On the one hand, employees actively shape other
stakeholders' perceptions of the firm. Especially in services industries, employees contribute to
the formation of corporate reputation through the quality of their interactions with customers.
On the other hand, employees are themselves affected by public perceptions of their employer.
Affiliation with a reputable firm improves employees' self-esteem, thereby constituting both,
an appeal to join for potential employees and a vested interest for current employees to
safeguard their employer's good name (Arthur et. al. 2013:125).

Different research streams have investigated the role of employees in building corporate
reputation (Avolio et. al. 2014:801). Literature on corporate reputation management helps in
understanding the construct and how it relates to different stakeholders. Studies on internal
brand building focus on employees' contributions to a specific corporate asset and are helpful
in gauging employees' influence on corporate reputation, which is an entity closely related to,
but distinct from, the corporate brand (Avolio et. al. 2014:801). Finally, studies in internal
marketing explain that how employees regard the firm will determine how other stakeholders
perceive it. Relevant findings of these three research streams will now be discussed to lay the
groundwork for understanding internal reputation building (Avolio et. al. 2014:801).

Literature on corporate reputation suggests various construct definitions (Barnett &


Davis, 2017:721). However, most authors seem to agree that corporate reputation is “a global,
temporally stable, evaluative judgment about a firm that is shared by multiple constituencies”.
It is rooted in aggregate perceptions regarding the general conduct, financial performance, and
other achievements of the firm (Barnett & Davis, 2017:721). Corporate reputation is a socially
shared impression − a collective construct − because it relies on an individual's perception of

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how other people view the firm. In this study, this construct is termed perceived corporate
reputation (PCR) (Barnett & Davis, 2017:721).

Studies conducted in a labor market context mostly focus on job applicants who use the
reputation of potential employers to reduce uncertainty (Bloemer, 2013:176). Yet, as Bower
(2017:190) explained, a good reputation not only aids in attracting, but also in retaining
employees. This raises the question of how corporate reputation can be created. Several authors
claimed that corporate reputation is based on the firm's actions and how these are
communicated to, and among, its stakeholders with Brant et. al. (2016) clarifying that the
greatest reputation leverage can be achieved through employees. According to Brickley et. al.
(2013:88), firms should actively engage employees in transmitting and displaying reputational
signals, not only to enhance overall corporate reputation, but to also strengthen employees'
identification with their employer (Bloemer, 2013:176).

Employees' role in creating a corporate asset is also emphasized in the literature on


internal brand building (IBB) which has been defined as a process to align employees' brand-
relevant behavior and the brand promise given to stakeholders (Burch et. al. 2015:177).
Corporate brand and corporate reputation are closely aligned but not synonymous concepts.
Brands attempt to convey relevancy and differentiation of firms' offerings, whereas reputation
conveys legitimacy of corporate activities and conduct (Camarinha et. al. 2015:511).

The firm's conduct becomes manifest in its employees' behavior; an idea also addressed
in the literature on internal marketing (IM). This concept builds on the notion that marketing
principles can be employed in managing the firm's human resources (Cascio & Aguinis,
2015:110). In order to create satisfied customers, managers first need to create satisfied
employees because they represent the firm in each interaction with customers and other
stakeholders (Cascio & Aguinis, 2015:110). IM aims to identify and satisfy employees' needs
as individuals and in their role as “part-time marketers” highlight, the reputation of many firms
“is driven by the way customer facing employees perceive the organization”. Employees as
“part-time marketers” need to adopt certain attitudes and behaviors in order to become a
corporate ambassador (Cascio & Aguinis, 2015:110) who safeguards corporate reputation and
spreads goodwill in support of the firm.

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Combining the findings from these different literature streams aids in further analyzing
the role employees’ play in reputation building (Chandler, 2013:39). To begin with, corporate
reputation as perceived by an employee can be defined as a global, temporally stable, evaluative
judgment about the employing firm that is shared by the firm's multiple stakeholders (Chandler,
2013:39). Internal Reputation Building (IRB) encompasses all activities or behaviors
employees exhibit in order to contribute to the formation of corporate reputation. Employees
can directly or indirectly, voluntarily or involuntarily, affect reputation by any act that is
transmitted to, and communicated by, external audiences who evaluate corporate conduct
(Chandler, 2013:39).

However, despite the widespread agreement that employees are very important for
reputation building (Chatman, 2014:333), the literature remains indistinct about how
employees perceive this role. It is arguable whether employees deem reputation building as
one of their responsibilities, given that most job descriptions do not specifically mention this
task. It can therefore be interpreted as an extra-role behavior (Chatman, 2014:333). Employees
might also be unwilling or incapable to contribute to their employer's reputation. In order to
capture IRB, and following the notion that awareness precedes action, the present analysis
focuses on the foundations and determinants of employees' Awareness of their Impact on
Corporate Reputation (AICR). In order to fully understand this notion, it is necessary to explain
why employees are affected by corporate reputation in the first place, and why they in turn
would be willing to foster corporate reputation (Chatman, 2014:333).

1.0 (b) USE OF COMPANY FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Your employees play as big a role in supporting the financial health of your company
as you do -- perhaps even more since their jobs depend on you making a profit and keeping the
business operational (Chen, 2016:247). At the same time, many workers believe it is not their
duty to be fiscally responsible, that’s a job for you and your accountants. Develop a plan to
explain to your staff the importance of financial responsibility for every employee and how
each staff member can participate (Chen, 2016:247).

Prepare a mandatory training session that all employees must attend (Chen, 2016:247).
Include a spreadsheet presentation that shows employees how your company is funded, what
sales projections do for planning purposes and how each plays a role in achieving financial
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goals. Include costs employees incur, such as cleaning and office supplies, hours worked and
building maintenance. Create a graphic that shows costs versus profits and how those funds are
moved back into the company (Chen, 2016:247).

Define specific internal controls that each employee can undertake to reduce waste and
increase profits (Chivee & Cowan, 2017:40). Include duties for each position within the
company that can include using codes for the copier, hourly production expectations and
maintaining clear, updated documentation about all purchases and sales (Chivee & Cowan,
2017:40).

Train employees on company best practices (Chivee & Cowan, 2017:40). While
employees undergo training to perform the technical aspects of their jobs, they should learn
how to properly deal with money and company resources. During the initial probationary
period, trainees should be taught one on one how to prevent waste, make the best use of
company resources and to whom to with questions about the proper use of company funds
(Chivee & Cowan, 2017:40).

Include a section in employee reviews about financial responsibilities and how


employees performed within the boundaries of their positions (Citrin & Ogden, 2013:29). Tell
your staff that they will be rated on their performance of those responsibilities. Train your
managers to watch and evaluate employees on their actions and behaviors regarding waste and
how closely workers follow fiscal policies (Citrin & Ogden, 2013:29).

Senior leaders of an organization are responsible for all aspects of its financial health
(Citrin & Ogden, 2013:29). They are charged with understanding the unit's financial situation
and not allowing unintended deficits to occur. They remain accountable for the resources
entrusted to them, including funding, facilities and staffing, even if they have delegated budget
and accounting responsibilities to their staff (Clark & Roberts, 2016:507). All funds must be
spent in accordance with University policy, and operating needs met within available budgets.
The University does not budget separate funds to cover deficits, so alternative sources must be
provided if a deficit occurs, such as department budgets or Dean’s reserves. Units are
responsible for internal financial management, and to develop budgeting, financial reporting
and management practices. Units are encouraged to develop an oversight process that builds
on best practices (Clark & Roberts, 2016:507).
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1.0 (c) PROVIDING HONEST INFORMATION / DATA

The concept of ethics is a highly complex one. As technology researcher and


businessman, Clark & Roberts (2016:507) once said, "Ethics is not definable... because it is
not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling." Ethics, or moral
obligation, guide human decisions in many arenas, including within the workplace. When an
individual is acting as an employee, there are certain ethical obligations he has towards his
employer that should guide his decision making and impact his actions (Cooper et. al. 2015:61).

When employers perform certain checkups on employees, often completing regular


evaluations and other job-performance checks, managers cannot keep all employees under
watch at the same time (Cooper et. al. 2015:61). While some employees choose to put less
effort into their work when they are not being watched, they are ethically compelled to give
100 percent effort to their job at all times (Cooper et. al. 2015:61).

Ethical employees are always honest, consistently giving truthful information to their
employers and, in doing so, helping the employer make informed decisions (Cooper et. al.
2015:61). Remaining truthful without fail can present a challenge, particularly when presenting
a little white lie would help an individual advance within her current position; however, honesty
is not only the best policy, but it is also the morally correct path on which all employees should
remain (Cooper et. al. 2015:61).

In the world of business, monetary transactions are highly common, presenting the
opportunity for employees with unsavory motives to misallocate funds (Costa & McCrae,
2017:258). While the opportunity to cash in on some easy money is too tempting for some
workers to resist, ethical employees use money responsibly and in alignment with company
policy even when they know that a monetary misuse will not be caught (Costa & McCrae,
2017:258).

When an individual is an employee of more than one company simultaneously, conflicts


of interest can occur (Costa & McCrae, 2017:258). Some companies specifically forbid
employees from working with competing companies or in another fashion that could present a
conflict of interest (Costa & McCrae, 2017:258). Even when this prohibition is not in place,
employees with strong ethics should avoid these conflicts of interest. In doing so, they can
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ensure that their relationship with their current company remains strong and their reputations
as business people remain unblemished (Costa & McCrae, 2017:258).

At times honesty in the workplace can be better in theory than in practice (Davidow &
Malone, 2013:87). Employees sometimes avoid voicing opinions, disappointments,
frustrations, or general ideas to modify or change Company’s operating procedures. Instead,
these opinions and ideas may progress through the office environment in a series of
conversations with other employees, forms of gossip, or underlying internal frustration
(Davidow & Malone, 2013:87). When this is the case, the problem has no viable outlet to be
fixed or solved. If companies really want to evolve and grow, they must be open to hearing
the truth from employees, even if it is brutally honest as it is an important step toward building
integrity in the workplace (Davidow & Malone, 2013:87).

2.0 WHY IS IT AN ETHICAL PROBLEM? DISCUSS.

Open the newspaper and you'll find ethical crises like embezzlement, fraud, or misuse
of company products or services making the headlines. High profile ethical breaches like these
all have to do with something near and dear to a company's heart; its assets (Deutschman,
2014:54).

This is known in the workplace as the stuff which the company has paid for and that
you use every day (Deutschman, 2014:54). When it comes to company assets (in any form)
things get serious. Mess with the money or the stuff, and you'll end up in hot water really fast
(Deutschman, 2014:54). On the surface, this seems cut and dried, but is it as easy as it sounds?
For those of us without power and influence, ethically taking care of company assets may be a
non-issue. You show up for work, do your job, and go home without engaging in any high
finance or legal maneuvers (Deutschman, 2014:54).

Little did you know, during your seemingly routine day, that you had hundreds or even
thousands of dollars of assets under your control (Deutschman, 2014:54)? With all the stuff
that passes you by each day at work, you probably never think about it in terms of assets and
your responsibility (Deutschman, 2014:54). Do you drive a company car, work on a computer,
or maintain equipment? Do you use a company credit card or expense account? Do you have
access to or are you responsible for intellectual property or company records? All these are
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examples of assets. Some are physical and some are intangible, such as company secrets,
trademarks, and confidential information. Every employee from the janitor to the executive
controls some kind of asset every time he or she shows up for work (Deutschman, 2014:54).

Most people don't give company assets a second thought until they are lost, stolen or
broken (Doherty, 2013:11). Herein lies the problem. Employees must understand that ethical
behavior is demonstrated not only in how they act toward others but also in how they treat
property that doesn't belong to them. The key to success is understanding who owns what and
what boundaries exist for its use (Doherty, 2013:11). Your mother may have said, "Treat other
people's property as if it were your own." As a child, if you borrowed a toy, you took extra
special care of it. As a guest in another home, you didn't touch anything that wasn't yours. Why
doesn't this lesson seem to transfer to the company's property where we work? (Doherty,
2013:11).

As an adult, you know better (Galbraith, 2017:98). Caring for assets doesn't matter as
much because the company always has enough money to replace the stuff we break or use up.
If no one else cares, why should we? But those simple moral truths from childhood don't grow
obsolete with age (Galbraith, 2017:98). The fact is, we should care about how we treat
property that isn't ours. Everyone deals with stuff differently. Some detach themselves from
the asset so they don't care about it or they attach themselves too much so they feel like the
rightful owners. In the first situation, learning to care about company stuff is accomplished
through thoughtful consideration (Galbraith, 2017:98).

Who paid for this and how would I feel about writing the check that pays for it? What
are the boundaries for appropriate use? This is an attitude that doesn't necessarily change from
work to home (Gardner, 2014:270). An ethical person doesn't put a dollar amount on respecting
the property of others. He or she always makes a moral connection between property,
ownership, and responsibility. In the second case, becoming too attached or familiar with
company property creates a problem as well (Gardner, 2014:270). If you use something every
day, you may become desensitized to its appropriate professional use. Do you balance company
financial accounts like your own? (Gardner, 2014:270).

Do you find yourself hitting the computer or kicking the copier (even if it deserves it)?
Do you treat records and private information in a casual manner? It might be time to take a
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more serious approach to company property (Gardner, 2014:270). Beware of messing with the
money or the stuff because ethical situations involving company assets, no matter how small,
are rarely smoothed over with an apology. There's always a smoking gun that does not leave
gray areas for rationalization or explanation. Most industries deal with asset abuse or
misuse action or employment termination on the first offense (Gardner, 2014:270). Again,
business ethics boils down to the day-to-day choices you make no matter who you are or what
responsibilities you have. From the minute you step from the parking lot into your workplace,
see the things around you in proper context. Although Shakespeare said, "All the world's a
stage," don't treat the "stuff" like props (Gardner, 2014:270).

Unethical behavior in the workplace can be defined as any action that does not conform
to the standards of conduct established by the organization (Greenberg 2013:42). Unethical
behavior can occur in the relationships between employees, in the way an employee goes about
his business or how he uses company resources. Unethical behavior can even break the law in
some situations (Greenberg 2013:42).

Inappropriate Computer Use (Greenberg 2013:42). Employees may use company


computers to engage in unethical behavior. For example, an employee who is not permitted to
use the Internet for personal reasons commits an unethical act by shopping online while at work
(Greenberg 2013:42). Random Internet surfing takes away from the time she spends on work-
related activities. Employees sometimes use company email to spread inappropriate websites
or videos to co-workers, some of which could be deemed offensive by the recipients
(Greenberg 2013:42).

Time Misuse (Greer & Virick, 2017:351). Unethical behavior can include "stealing"
time from the company, as the company is compensating employees and receiving no
productivity in return (Greer & Virick, 2017:351). In addition to time spent on aimless Internet
surfing, time misuse can consist of extending breaks beyond the allotted time, congregating
around the water cooler or engaging in lengthy gossip sessions during working time, falsifying
time sheets, coming into work late or leaving early and running personal errands while traveling
on company business (Greer & Virick, 2017:351).

Sexual Harassment and Bullying (Greiner & Metes, 2015:71). An employee could
commit unethical behavior by sexually harassing co-workers. This could involve making lewd
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comments, touching inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances (Greiner & Metes,
2015:71). Bullying typically involves attempting to intimidate a co-worker by making
demeaning comments about him, spreading gossip or even making verbal or physical threats.
In general, a bully attempts to make the workplace as uncomfortable as possible for a co-
worker. In some cases, ongoing bullying can escalate into violence in the workplace (Greiner
& Metes, 2015:71).

Illegal Acts. Some unethical acts can also be illegal (Groves, 2017:239). For example,
an employee who has access to a company's financial records, such as a bookkeeper or
accountant, could use her access and expertise to embezzle company funds. An employee
having access to personnel files, such as a human resources representative, could commit
identity theft and use employees' Social Security numbers to raid bank accounts or fraudulently
obtain credit cards (Groves, 2017:239). In cases such as the 2001 Enron scandal, top company
executives used questionable accounting practices to manipulate the company's stock price for
their own financial gain (Groves, 2017:239).

Misusing company time. Whether it is covering for someone who shows up late or
altering a time sheet, misusing company time tops the list (Hage, 2016:289). This category
includes knowing that one of your co-workers is conducting personal business on company
time. By "personal business" the survey recognizes the difference between making cold calls
to advance your freelance business and calling your spouse to find out how your sick child is
doing (Hage, 2016:289).

Abusive behavior. Too many workplaces are filled with managers and supervisors who
use their position and power to mistreat or disrespect others (Hage, 2016:289). Unfortunately,
unless the situation you're in involves race, gender or ethnic origin, there is often no legal
protection against abusive behavior in the workplace (Hage, 2016:289).

Employee theft. According to a recent study by Hall & Tolbert (2011:99), one out of
every 40 employees in 2012 was caught stealing from their employer. Even more startling is
that these employees steal on average 5.5 times more than shoplifters ($715 vs $129).
Employee fraud is also on the uptick, whether its check tampering, not recording sales in order
to skim, or manipulating expense reimbursements Hall & Tolbert (2011:99). The fastest way
to lose the trust of your employees is to lie to them, yet employers do it all the time. One of out
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every five employees report that their manager or supervisor has lied to them within the past
year Hall & Tolbert (2011:99).

Violating company internet policies. These are terms used to identify people who surf
the Web when they should be working (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47). It's a huge, multi-billion-
dollar problem for companies. A survey conducted recently by Salary.com found that every
day at least 64 percent of employees visit websites that have nothing to do with their work.
Who would have thought that checking your Facebook page is becoming an ethical issue?
(Hempel & Brady, 2016:47).

Morality and values-based dilemmas in the workplace are, at best, difficult to handle
when employees have to choose between what’s right and what’s wrong according to their own
principles (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47). Forward-thinking employers who implement
workplace ethics policies are usually well-prepared for the potential conflicts of interest that
arise due to the diversity of opinion, values and culture in the workforce. However, handling
ethical issues in the workplace requires a steady and cautious approach to matters which can
potentially be dangerous or illegal (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47).

Know the Law. Research federal, state and municipal labor and employment laws
pertaining to whistleblowing (Hilty et. al. 2015:61). Refrain from making employment
decisions, such as termination or suspension, in connection with whistleblowing or an
employee’s right to protected activity under whistleblowing laws or public policy (Hilty et. al.
2015:61). Seek legal advice for employee reports of workplace ethics issues that increase your
organization’s liability under federal, state or municipal employment law (Hilty et. al.
2015:61).

Set Expectations. Develop a workplace policy based on your company’s philosophy,


mission statement and code of conduct (Hilty et. al. 2015:61). Incorporate the policy into your
performance management program to hold employees accountable for their actions and alert
them to their responsibilities to uphold professional standards throughout their job performance
and interaction with peers and supervisors (Hilty et. al. 2015:61). Revise your employee
handbook to include the policy and provide copies of the revised handbook to employees.
Obtain signed acknowledgement forms from employees that indicate they received and
understand the workplace ethics policy (Hilty et. al. 2015:61).
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Train Your Employees. Provide workplace ethics training to employees (Jolink &
Daankbar, 2013:143). Utilize varied instruction methods to engage employees in learning how
to address and resolve ethical dilemmas. Experiential learning, or role-play, is an effective way
to facilitate workplace ethics training (Jolink & Daankbar, 2013:143). Examples of workplace
ethics simulations involve scenarios about the misappropriation of company funds, personal
values related to improper workplace relationships and the organization’s compliance with
regulatory controls (Jolink & Daankbar, 2013:143).

Put Someone in Charge. Designate an ombudsperson in charge of handling employees’


informal concerns pertaining to workplace ethics (Jolink & Daankbar, 2013:143). Consider
whether your organization also needs an ethics hotline, which is a confidential service
employees may contact whenever they encounter workplace dilemmas that put them into
uncomfortable or threatening positions (Jolink & Daankbar, 2013:143). Confidential hotlines
are an effective way to assure employees’ anonymity, which is a concern for employees whose
alerts are considered “whistleblowing” actions (Jolink & Daankbar, 2013:143).

Be Fair. Apply your workplace policy consistently when addressing workplace issues
and employee concerns about workplace ethics (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175). Use the same
business principles in every circumstance, regardless of the perceived seriousness or the level
of employees involved (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175). Communicate the same expectations for all
employees – whether they are in executive positions or front-line production roles – and
approach every issue with equal interpretation of the company policy (Kirkman et. al.
2014:175).

Unfortunately, employee misconduct is common (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175).


Disgruntled workers breach their companies’ codes of conduct all the time. Whether by
misusing company time, taking credit for others’ work or harassing their colleagues — among
many other examples — disgruntled employees raise many ethical issues in the workplace
(Kirkman et. al. 2014:175). Despite the pervasiveness of such behavior, employee misconduct
often goes unreported for a variety of reasons. Colleagues may feel threatened by their
unscrupulous coworkers, or they may fear backlash for “tattling.” Still others might simply
choose to look the other way to avoid conflict (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175).

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Regardless why such behavior goes unreported, there is a huge discrepancy between
the number of cases that come to light and the actual number of violations (Kluemper & Rosen,
2017:567). A 2015 research report conducted by the National Business Ethics Survey
(NBES) shows that 62 percent of employees in large companies (those consisting of 90,000 or
more employees) have witnessed misconduct, but only 32 percent of those surveyed actually
reported what they saw (Kluemper & Rosen, 2017:567). Unfortunately, of the 68 percent of
employees who did report unethical behavior to their supervisors, 59 percent of them
experienced retaliation that negatively affected their future performance (Kluemper & Rosen,
2017:567).

So what, exactly, can employers do to mitigate employee misconduct while alleviating


fears of retaliation for those who witness it? While there is no simple answer, there are some
methods of addressing ethical issues in the workplace (Kluemper & Rosen, 2017:567).

Introduce a Policy. Most large companies enforce codes of ethics that clearly state the
definition of, and the punishment for, employee misconduct (Kristof, 2016:31). These
documents provide information about a company’s mission statement and philosophy, and they
define the standard to which employees must hold themselves. However, companies should
revisit these codes of ethics from time to time to accommodate new trends and changes in
national practice (Kristof, 2016:31). When it is time to update the code, managers should solicit
buy-in from their employees to get insight into the issues people “on the ground” face every
day. By including everyone in this process, managers and executives demonstrate the value of
the entire team (Kristof, 2016:31).

Provide Resources and Education. When business leaders amend their codes of ethics,
they may see pushback from employees who refuse to change (Kristof, 2015:281). More often
than not, this results from employees not understanding how to implement these changes.
However, just because they may have a tough time adjusting to new practices does not mean
they are completely incapable of doing so (Kristof, 2015:281).

Employers must provide educational opportunities for all employees in order to


successfully implement policy changes (Kuprenas, 2013:51). This may include literature or
multimedia presentations explaining the importance of the changes, “icebreaker” games that
demonstrate acceptable behavior or workshops with experts in the ethics field. Employers and
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employees alike can become more familiar with advanced business ethics through online
Master of Business Administration program (Kuprenas, 2013:51).

The same NBES study showed that this kind of policy education has a dramatic effect
on workplace misconduct, reducing misconduct rates to 33 percent (Kuprenas, 2013:51).
Furthermore, instances of retaliation for blowing the whistle dropped to a mere 4 percent.
Unsurprisingly, this resulted in a drastic increase in the number of reported offenses (87
percent) (Kuprenas, 2013:51).

Employers can effectively implement these programs by explaining the rationale


behind them, including what necessitated the changes, how they will improve employee
relations and how they will benefit individual workers (Levary & Mathieu, 2014:22). When
employees actually understand the importance of continuing education rather than simply
going through required motions, they are more likely to fully comply (Levary & Mathieu,
2014:22).

Employ a Confidential System. Although employees may understand that they will not
suffer repercussions for blowing the whistle, they may still be hesitant to do so for fear of
alienating their coworkers (Levary & Mathieu, 2014:22). Nobody wants to be known as the
office tattletale. To alleviate this issue, managers should set up a confidential system for
reporting ethical violations (Levary & Mathieu, 2014:22). Similarly, managers should handle
discipline confidentially to protect the privacy of those they need to confront. Most importantly,
supervisors should never to punish an entire team for the actions of one or two workers (Levary
& Mathieu, 2014:22).

Be Consistent. Once managers implement a system of dealing with ethical issues in the
workplace, everyone must adhere to the policy exactly as detailed (Likert, 2011:11). When
employees sign the new policy, indicating their understanding and pledging their compliance,
they agree to hold themselves to a higher standard and to face the consequences of not doing
so (Likert, 2011:11). Employers must agree to hold themselves to this same standard. If either
side compromises the agreement, the system will fail. Companies will never be completely free
of misconduct and disgruntled employees. However, supervisors can implement policies to
minimize the number of ethical issues in the workplace. By training those who are willing to

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learn and terminating those who are not, employers can make the workplace safer and more
enjoyable for everyon (Likert, 2011:11)e.

3.0 WHAT IS THE COST OF MISUSE OR ABUSE OF COMPANY RESOURCES?


DISCUSS.

The cost of misuse or abuse of company resources can be examined from various
perspectives, including the perspective of the employee, the commercial enterprise, and society
as a whole (Lipnack & Stamps, 2017:61). Very often, situations arise in which there is conflict
between one and more of the parties, such that serving the interest of one party is a detriment
to the other(s) (Lipnack & Stamps, 2017:61). For example, a particular outcome might be good
for the employee, whereas, it would be bad for the company, society, or vice versa. Some
ethicists see the principal role of ethics as the harmonization and reconciliation of conflicting
interests (Lipnack & Stamps, 2017:61).

Philosophers and others disagree about the purpose of a business in society (Lunenberg,
2013:55). For example, some suggest that the principal purpose of a business is to maximize
returns to its owners, or in the case of a publicly-traded concern, its shareholders. Thus, under
this view, only those activities that increase profitability and shareholder value should be
encouraged (Lunenberg, 2013:55). Some believe that the only companies that are likely to
survive in a competitive marketplace are those that place profit maximization above everything
else. However, some point out that self-interest would still require a business to obey the law
and adhere to basic moral rules, because the consequences of failing to do so could be very
costly in fines, loss of licensure, or company reputation. The economist Milton Friedman was
a leading proponent of this view (Lunenberg, 2013:55).

Other theorists contend that a business has moral duties that extend well beyond serving
the interests of its owners or stockholders, and that these duties consist of more than simply
obeying the law (Luthans, 2014:57). They believe a business has moral responsibilities to so-
called stakeholders, people who have an interest in the conduct of the business, which might
include employees, customers, vendors, the local community, or even society as a whole
(Luthans, 2014:57). They would say that stakeholders have certain rights with regard to how
the business operates, and some would even suggest that this even includes rights of
governance (Luthans, 2014:57).
Page 15 of 43
Ethical issues can arise when companies must comply with multiple and sometimes
conflicting legal or cultural standards, as in the case of multinational companies that operate in
countries with varying practices (May et. al. 2013:247). The question arises, for example, ought
a company to obey the laws of its home country, or should it follow the less stringent laws of
the developing country in which it does business? To illustrate, United States law forbids
companies from paying bribes either domestically or overseas; however, in other parts of the
world, bribery is a customary, accepted way of doing business (May et. al. 2013:247). Similar
problems can occur with regard to child labor, employee safety, work hours, wages,
discrimination, and environmental protection laws. It is sometimes claimed that a Gresham's
law of ethics applies in which bad ethical practices drive out good ethical practices. It is claimed
that in a competitive business environment, those companies that survive are the ones that
recognize that their only role is to maximize profits. On this view, the competitive system
fosters a downward ethical spiral (May et. al. 2013:247).

As part of more comprehensive compliance and ethics programs, many companies have
formulated internal policies pertaining to the ethical conduct of employees (McLean,
2015:226). These policies can be simple exhortations in broad, highly-generalized language
(typically called a corporate ethics statement), or they can be more detailed policies, containing
specific behavioral requirements (typically called corporate ethics codes). They are generally
meant to identify the company's expectations of workers and to offer guidance on handling
some of the more common ethical problems that might arise in the course of doing business
(McLean, 2015:226). It is hoped that having such a policy will lead to greater ethical awareness,
consistency in application, and the avoidance of ethical disasters. An increasing number of
companies also require employees to attend seminars regarding business conduct, which often
include discussion of the company's policies, specific case studies, and legal requirements.
Some companies even require their employees to sign agreements stating that they will abide
by the company's rules of conduct (McLean, 2015:226).

Many companies are assessing the environmental factors that can lead employees to
engage in unethical conduct (Michael & Williams, 2016:283). Not everyone supports corporate
policies that govern ethical conduct. Some claim that ethical problems are better dealt with by
depending upon employees to use their own judgment. Others believe that corporate ethics
policies are primarily rooted in utilitarian concerns, and that they are mainly to limit the
company's legal liability, or to curry public favor by giving the appearance of being a good
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corporate citizen (Michael & Williams, 2016:283). Ideally, the company will avoid a lawsuit
because its employees will follow the rules. Should a lawsuit occur, the company can claim
that the problem would not have arisen if the employee had only followed the code properly?
Sometimes there is disconnection between the company's code of ethics and the company's
actual practices. Thus, whether or not such conduct is explicitly sanctioned by management, at
worst, this makes the policy duplicitous, and, at best, it is merely a marketing tool (Michael &
Williams, 2016:283).

In the wake of numerous corporate scandals in 2001-2004 (Miles et. al. 2013:77), even
small and medium-sized companies have begun to appoint ethics officers. They often report to
the Chief Executive Officer and are responsible for assessing the ethical implications of the
company's activities, making recommendations regarding the company's ethical policies, and
disseminating information to employees. They are particularly interested in uncovering or
preventing unethical and illegal actions (Miles et. al. 2013:77). The effectiveness of ethics
officers in the marketplace is not clear. If the appointment is made primarily as a reaction to
legislative requirements, one might expect the efficacy to be minimal, at least, over the short
term. In part, this is because ethical business practices result from a corporate culture that
consistently places value on ethical behavior, a culture and climate that usually emanates from
the top of the organization. The mere establishment of a position to oversee ethics will most
likely be insufficient to inculcate ethical behavior: a more systemic program with consistent
support from general management will be necessary (Miles et. al. 2013:77).

Business ethics should be distinguished from the philosophy of business, the branch of
philosophy that deals with the philosophical, political, and ethical underpinnings of business
and economics (Mintzberg, 2013:88). Business ethics operates on the premise, for example,
that the ethical operation of a private business is possible therefore those who dispute that
premise, such as libertarian socialists, (who contend that "business ethics" is an oxymoron) do
so by definition outside of the domain of business ethics proper (Mintzberg, 2013:88). The
philosophy of business also deals with questions such as what, if any, are the social
responsibilities of a business; business management theory; theories of individualism vs.
collectivism; free will among participants in the marketplace; the role of self-interest; invisible
hand theories; the requirements of social justice; and natural rights, especially property rights,
in relation to the business enterprise. Business ethics is also related to political economy, which
is economic analysis from political and historical perspectives. Political economy deals with
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the distributive consequences of economic actions. It asks who gains and who loses from
economic activity, and is the resultant distribution fair or just, which are central ethical issues
(Mintzberg, 2013:88).

TASK 2 (40 MARKS):

1.0 COMPANY BACKGROUND

UMS Investment Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (UiNVEST) (formerly known as UMS Link
Holdings Sn. Bhd.) was incorporated on 25 May 1999 as UMS Link (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd. and on
9th May 2006, the company’s name was changed to UMS Investment Holdings Sdn. Bhd. On
22 December, 2014, the company was renamed as UMS Investment Holdings Sdn. Bhd.
(UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3).

UiNVEST is a wholly-owned company of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) with


current authorized share capital of RM10,000,000.00. and current paid-up share capital of
RM5,000,000.00. The incorporation of UiNVEST was approved by the Ministry of Finance on
the 1 August 2006 and the Ministry of Higher Education on 15 August 2006, respectively. The
companies officially start its business operation on 2nd October, 2006 (UiNVEST Bulletin,
2016: 3).

The company envisioned to be a university’s corporate entity that is capable of


competing at global standing and to excel in the business world through commercialization of
the university’s invention, research and development, consultancy, business venture and
human capital development (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3).
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Being the commercial and business arm of UMS, the main objective of UiNVEST is to
generate revenue for the university. UiNVEST strives to bring UMS to greater heights by
promoting knowledge and R&D through commercialization of UMS research and
development inventions, innovation, services, academic programs and professional expertise.

As the main business vehicle for UMS, UiNVEST’s mission is to provide a platform
for the university to venture into business activities with the foremost agenda to generate
income for the university in order to reduce UMS’s reliance on government grant. The income
generation activities of UiNVEST are largely through commercialization, education and
training, consultancy services and creation of business synergy on R&D outputs. UiNVEST
also strives to help the university in the commercialization of university invention. UiNVEST
aspires to carry out the following activities (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 4):

 To utilize and maximize the University’s physical and intellectual resources to offer
consultancy and other services with the view to provide industrial solutions to the
industries, public sectors and external parties.

 To establish working relationship and partnership with the industries and


government agencies.

 To provide various consultancy services including advisory services, testing, renting of


space and laboratory equipment, professional and short course programs through life-
long learning, and research work.

 To form business relationship and contract with selected companies up to the stage of
sharing ownership, dividend and profit distribution.

 To manage the offering of several academic programs at Diploma, Bachelor and Post-
Graduate levels through part-time courses, franchise program, close-supervisory and
off-shore programs with private colleges, both local and overseas institutions.

 To be directly involved in the commercialization of university inventions.

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1.1 Vision

To be a leading and renowned university’s corporate center of global standing (UiNVEST


Bulletin, 2016: 3).

1.2 Mission

To endeavor in the commercialization of R & D, quality education, training,


consultancy programs and business venture activities (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3).

1.3 Motto

“Leading Innovative Knowledge” (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3)

1.4 Key Objectives

 To develop and train human capital through life-long learning, research and
development.

 To promote and engage in consultancy services through university expert advise.

 To generate revenue for UMS through commercialization of university R & D.

 To develop university-industry partnership.

1.5 Board of Directors

YBhg. Datuk Awang Buhtamam Haji AG. Mahmun (PGDK, ASDK)


Group Chairman/Director

YBhg. Prof. Datuk Dr. Mohd Harun Abdullah


Director / Vice-Chancellor of UMS
Corporate Representative of UMS / Shareholders

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Mdm Darshana Kumari Ragupathy
Representative of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia (MOE)

YB’usaha Tuan Haji Rizal Othman


Director / Bursar of UMS
Corporate Representative of UMS / Shareholders

YBhg. Datuk Yusof Bin Haji Sarangit


Director / Pegawai Kewangan Persekutuan Sabah
Representative of the Ministry of Finance Malaysia (MOF)

Prof. Dr. Shahril Yusof


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UMS
(Alternate Director to YBhg. Prof Datuk Dr. Harun Abdullah)

Puan Zallifah Shadan


Acting Bursar, UMS
(Alternate Director to Tuan Hj. Rizal Othman)

Mr. Ramlan Awang Ali


Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

1.6 Group Business and Subsidiaries

1.6.1 Business and Centres directly managed by UiNVEST

UiNVEST has established and managed various business centres as follows:

 UMS Centre for External Education (UCEE)

 UMS Investment Centre for Professional Development (UCPD)

 Consultancy and Professional Services

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 Commercialization

1.6.2 Subsidiaries and Associate Companies

 UiNVEST Agro-Based Sdn. Bhd. (Wholly-owned Subsidiary)

 UiNVEST Property Sdn. Bhd. (Wholly-owned Subsidiary)

 UiNVEST Ascot Sdn. Bhd. (Associate Company)


(Ascot Academy)

1.7 Scope of Activities

The scope of activities engaged by UiNVEST as the prime business engine of UMS is
focused on the followings (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3):

1.7.1 Commercialization

UiNVEST endevour to assist UMS for the commercialization of viable UMS


inventions developed through scholarly activities of research and development. The inventions
include tangible products, technologies and processes, software programs and copyrights.
UiNVEST is responsible for the development of UMS Commercialization Policy and
managing commercialization activities of the University. UiNVEST endeavor to propagate all
information concerning research inventions and discoveries (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3).

1.7.2 Consultancy and Expert Advice Services

Various consultancy areas have been rendered through UiNVEST by capitalizing UMS
expertise. The numerous consultancy works in the science area include the Environmental
Impact Assessment namely in coastal management, water quality, biodiversity and ecosystem,
aquaculture and marine studies, biotechnology and solar energy. We also provide Social Impact
Assessment (SIA) in tourism and hotel management, human capital development, socio-
economic study, ethnography study and religion and arts, to name a few.

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1.7.3 University Academic Programs

Offering lifelong learning programs at Diploma, Degree and Masters levels to the
working group. This activity is managed by the UMS Centre for External Education. The
programmes include (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 3):

 Finance and Banking


 Marketing
 Labour Economics
 International Marketing
 International Finance
 Islamic Finance
 Economic
 Sports Science
 Psychology Counseling
 Mass Communication
 Computer Engineering
 Environmental Science
 Master of Business Administration
 Master of Human Capital Management
 Master of Education
 Master of Psychology Counseling

1.7.4 Executive Development and Training Programmes

These public programmes are conducted through the UMS Investment Centre for
Professional Development (UCPD). The aim is to provide life-long opportunity for the public
to enhance their skill, knowledge and talent. Among of the programmes offered through UCPD
are the Intensive English Programme; Executive Diploma in Plantation Management,
Executive Diploma in Sales Management, Diploma in Corporate Executive, Diploma in
Administration and many more (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 4).

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1.7.5 UMS-Private Partnership (UPP)

UiNVEST, on behalf of UMS, is responsible to enter into public-private partnership


that aims for commercialization activities and academic collaboration with private institutes of
higher learning. UiNVEST acts as the gatekeeper and enter into negotiation process on behalf
of UMS in any business arrangement. UPP’s option includes strategic partnership, joint-
venture and licensing (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 4).

1.7.6 International Promotion

UiNVEST works in tandem with UMS to promote its academic programmes, research
and development, and commercialization of research inventions to other parts of the world.
UiNVEST takes part in international academic exhibition, science and invention exhibition,
and other activities that are deem to benefit UMS and UiNVEST (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016:
4).

1.8 Key Success Factors

 Focus Strategic Direction


To identify niche areas and capitalize on UMS present core business and strength
namely R&D, academic programs and scholars.

 Leadership
It is Important that the “Captain” of company/centres/subsidiaries constantly provide
strong vision, guidance and coaching to staff towards the attainment of goals.

 Human Capital
A pool of talented and competent personnel, scholars, researchers and scientists at both
corporate and UMS level to provide competitive advantage.

 Viable inventions
Ensuring the viability of inventions including products/services/technologies that
match industry and community’s requirements.

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 Marketing plan
The need for a firm marketing and business plan to promote the inventions/services and
for brand positioning towards income generation for sustainability.

 Funding
To source for funding and grants for research, development and commercialization
activities (UiNVEST Bulletin, 2016: 5).

According to Brickley et. al. (2012:34), one of the important duties of a manager is
ethical decision making. Decision making is defined as a process to identify problems, generate
alternative solutions, and select the best solutions available and implement them. In other
words, it is a process of selecting a solution from a few available alternatives (Brickley et. al.,
2012:34).

When discussing ethical decision making, another important concept that needs to be
taken into consideration is the making of ethical rational decisions (Brickley et. al., 2012:34).
Ethical rational decision making refers to making decisions based on facts, opinions and
reasonable reasons. Generally, decisions that are made based on facts and opinions are the best
decisions. Nevertheless, not all decision makers can make decisions that are rational. This is
due to the limitations that exist in the environment or within the decision maker (Brickley et.
al., 2012:34).

The words “decision maker” and “manager” will be used interchangeably in this topic.
This is because in the context of an organization, a manager is the person responsible for
making decisions. Therefore, whether the term “manager” or “decision maker” is used, it refers
to the same individual – the person making the decision (Brickley et. al., 2012:34).

A good ethical decision is not only influenced by the experience, efficiency and skills
of the decision maker but also the adequacy and validity of the information obtained that are
related to the business environment (Camarinha et.al. 2011:55). The information mentioned
herein refers to the information that can help us in making a forecast on situations that will
occur in the future (Camarinha et.al. 2011:55). For example, is it possible for us to forecast
accurately the actions of competitors in the future or what is the interest rate for next year, or
what are the changes in legislations that may happen in the future and so forth (Camarinha
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et.al. 2005:55)? If we could obtain sufficient information, it will be easier for us to forecast
situations that might occur in the future. Thereafter, the process of decision making will be
easy and accurate (Camarinha et.al. 2011:55).

Generally at UiNVEST, there are three information situations in the process of ethical
decision making, whether the information obtained is complete, incomplete or there is no
information at all. This will create three ethical decision-making environments or situations as
shown in Figure 3.1:
(a) Certainty;
(b) Uncertainty; and
(c) Risky

Ethical Decision Making in Certain Conditions

According to Chandler (2013:12), the decision maker obtains complete information in


order to facilitate his decision making. He is able to predict with certainty what situations will
occur in the future Chandler (2013:12). By knowing what will occur in the future, the results
generated by each of the alternative decisions will be able to be ascertained or known with
certainty. The alternatives that give the best results will be selected and implemented Chandler
(2013:12).

Page 26 of 43
For example, UiNVEST Centre for Professional Development (UCPD) has complete
information about China students who wanted to study abroad in Malaysia. Based on the
information provided by Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Ministry of Higher Education,
UCPD able to predict with certainty that all students coming from China need to have good
English in order to enroll in UMS. By knowing this, UCPD has come up with the idea for all
students coming from China requiring them to take Intensive English Preparatory Program
(IEPP) before enrolling to UMS. This alternative decision was a success as UCPD able to be
ascertained or known with certainty and has given the best results when selected and
implemented which is contributing profits to the company.

Ethical Decision Making in Uncertain Conditions

In this situation, the decision maker does not have any information that would help in
his decision making (Davidow & Malone, 2012:21). Therefore, he is uncertain of the future
and also cannot predict the results of each alternative decision made. Therefore, the decision
maker has to use his experience and discretion to make a decision (Davidow & Malone,
2012:21).

When making decisions in uncertain conditions, the decision maker needs to have a
high propensity towards risks (Davidow & Malone, 2012:21). Risk propensity refers to the
tendency of a person to take or avoid risk. Individuals who have a high propensity towards
risks dare to take risks in any decision made. Since there is no information available to facilitate
the decision making, it is important for the decision maker who operates in such situations to
have higher propensity towards risk (Davidow & Malone, 2012:21).

For example, based on the same situation above, UCPD has been conducting its core
business in education for a long time in China. Now, UCPD has decided to explore new
education market, which is, finding new students in Vietnam. As these efforts are new to the
people of Vietnam and there have been no previous records students from Vietnam studying in
UMS, UCPD cannot forecast the response of potential students towards enrolling in UMS. This
is because there is no previous data that can be used as a guide. Will the people of Vietnam be
interested in UMS? Since the reaction of the people of Vietnam is not predictable, the result of
each alternative decision made is also unpredictable. In this case, the alternative decisions that
can be taken into consideration will be from the aspect of setting the study fee. Will the study
Page 27 of 43
fee be fixed with a certain price? Since there is no information available to be used as a
guideline, then normally, the decision made will depend on the discretion of the decision
maker.

Ethical Decision Making in Risky Conditions

Most managers or decision makers have actually operated in these conditions. They
have information but it is incomplete (Galbraith, 2011:11). Therefore, they will not know for
sure the situations that will occur in the future. Minimal information will only give some insight
in predicting what will occur (Galbraith, 2011:11). Whether the situation really will happen or
otherwise cannot be completely ascertained. Usually, the situations can only be assumed to
occur based on the information obtained and the percentage of probability that the situations
will occur (Galbraith, 2011:11).

For example, from UiNVEST monthly sales statement, it is noticed that total sales had
increased each month. Therefore, UiNVEST are able to assume that the company will obtain
net profit this year after making losses last year. Without obtaining other information such as
operational cost, change of taste in clients and loan interest, UiNVEST can only assume that
the company will obtain a profit based on the sales trend for the past few months. Then,
UiNVEST state that the probability that the company will obtain profits is 60% and the
probability that the company will make losses is 40%. With this, UiNVEST make a decision
to increase investment. Here, UiNVEST made a decision in a risky condition, that is, it is not
known whether the company will really be making a profit or otherwise.

According to Greenberg (2011:72), although decision making seems simple, the


decision made must be rational. This means that the decision has to be based on facts, opinions
and reasonable reasons. Systematic evaluations have to be conducted in the overall process of
decision making (Greenberg, 2011:72). In summary, making a rational decision can be defined
as a systematic process of defining problems, evaluating decision alternatives and selecting the
best alternative decisions available. (Greenberg, 2011:72) stated that six steps or processes
need to be followed to make rational decisions. These are shown in Figure 3.2 above. Now, let
us discuss each process further (Greenberg, 2011:72).

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Defining Problems

The first step in rational decision making is to identify the problem. At this stage, a
manager needs to identify the problems faced, the source of the problems and how to resolve
them (Greenberg, 2011:72). For example, UCPD will be conducting a new program which is
Malaysian Skills Diploma in Creative Multimedia. When analyzed, it is found that the
problems originate from shortage of high end computers in the student computer labs.
Therefore, the management agrees to purchase more computers for students use.

Identifying Decision Criteria

After identifying the problems, the next step in rational decision making is to establish
the decision criteria. The decision criteria refer to the standards or feature that will be
considered when making a decision (Greiner & Metes, 2015:71). Referring to the above
example, since the management had decided to purchase new high end computers, then what
are the criteria that will be taken into consideration when selecting new computers? Price,
quality, compatibility and warranty are the decision criteria (Greiner & Metes, 2015:71).

Allocating Weight to Each Criterion

According to Hall & Tolbert (2011:99), after identifying the criteria that need to be
considered when making a decision, the next step will be to allocate weight to each of the
criteria. One method that is normally used for this purpose is to make relative comparisons. In
this method, each criterion will be compared directly with others (Hall & Tolbert, 2013:43).
This is to identify which are the most important criterion, the second important criterion and
thereafter the less important criterion for the decision maker. Thus, decision criteria are
arranged according to priorities (Hall & Tolbert, 2013:43). The priorities of an individual might
be different from those of another individual.

Page 29 of 43
Based on the example given earlier, UiNVEST might place the quality factor as the
most important, followed by the compatibility factor, pricing factor and lastly, the warranty
factor:
Brand/Model Quality Compatibility Pricing Warranty Total
Dell 5 4 4 5 18
Acer 3 3 4 4 14
Compaq 3 2 3 5 13
Asus 2 3 3 2 10
Others 2 2 1 1 6
1 – Lowest marks, 5 – Highest mark

Generating Alternative Solutions

Once UiNVEST have identified and allocated weights to the criteria, the next step is to
develop as many alternative solutions as possible. The more alternatives are generated, the
better is the process. Based on the examples above, in order to purchase new high end
computers, the alternatives that can be taken into consideration will it be Dell, Acer, Compaq,
Asus and others.

Evaluating Alternatives

At this level, every alternative will be compared with each decision criterion. This is to
determine the extent of the alternatives to fulfil the decision criteria that had been set. Usually,
this level takes the longest time as there is a lot of information that must be collected first before
comparisons can be made. It also involves a huge sum of money. This means that all the
alternative solutions, Dell, Acer, Compaq, Asus, will be evaluated from the aspects of quality,
compatibility, pricing and warranty (decision criteria). The more decision criteria that are
fulfilled by an alternative, the better the alternative will be (Hilty et. al., 2015:61).

Selecting the Optimal Decision

The last step in the process of making rational decisions is to select the best alternative
solution available. The best alternative is the alternative that fulfils all the decision criteria

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according to the importance that has been arranged. However, if there are no alternatives that
can fulfil all the decision criteria according to the arrangement set, then the alternatives that
fulfil the most criteria will be selected. As a result, the best alternative is buying high end
computers from Dell (Kirkman et. al., 2014:88).

2.0 EIGHT STEPS ETHICAL DECISION MAKING PROCESS BY TREVINO &


NELSON (2014)

Gather the Facts

The philosophical methodologies do not instruct us to collect the facts. However, they
appear to accept that we will complete this vital move (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47). You will
be amazed at the number of individuals who jump to answers without having the facts. Ask
yourself, "How did the incident happen? Are there previous facts that I ought to know? Are
there certainties concerning the present circumstance that I ought to know?" (Hempel & Brady,
2016:47).

It is not easy to gather facts. Many of the ethical decisions are tough in light of the
vulnerabilities involved. Some data could not be made available (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47).
For instance, in UiNVEST cutback case, a manager might not have adequate knowledge about
the legitimate rules of informing employees about the cutback. Likewise, he might not have
enough data to decide to what extent it would take the 200 employees to gain new employment.

Page 31 of 43
In any case, perceiving these restrictions, the manager must take the initiative to gather the
facts that are accessible to him before continuing the process (Hempel & Brady, 2016:47).

Define the Ethical Issues

A significant number of us have automatic reactions to ethical quandaries (Jolink &


Daankbar, 2013:143). We jump to the conclusion without thoroughly considering the ethical
issues and the purposes behind our reactions. For instance, in the cutback case, one individual
may state, "Goodness gracious ⁄ that is simple. Promise-keeping is the ethical issue (Jolink &
Daankbar, 2013:143). Employees needs to stay faithful in their obligation to their manager and
ensure their job security." Another individual may state that trustworthiness is the key moral
issue. "Managers simply needs to come clean with her worker." (Jolink & Daankbar,
20.13:143)

Along these lines, my second proposal is not to make arrangements without first
recognising the varying moral issues or values in the case (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175). There
are normally different moral issues that backpedal in the deontological or policy-based theories
we just examined. For instance, for the previous UiNVEST situation, one moral issue needs to
deal with employee privileges and the organisation. How might you characterise the
employees' rights to think about the plant shutdown ahead of time? What amount of notification
ahead of time is suitable? What does the law say? Another moral issue concerning the
organisation's entitlement is to keep the data private (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175). Besides, what
is the organisation's commitment to its employees in such situation? On a more individual level,
there are the moral issues associated with the policies, for example, genuineness, devotion and
truth-keeping. Is it more critical to be straightforward with a friend or to keep a vow to one's
manager? Does one owe more sincerity to a friend or to one's supervisor? Can you consider the
circumstance from an equity or decency point of view? What might be reasonable for the
organisation and to the individuals who might be laid off? (Kirkman et. al. 2014:175).

Purposes of the moral clash may backpedal in the dispute between consequential and
deontological approaches (Arthur et. al. 2013:125). For instance, given that one comes clean
(predictable with the rule of oath-keeping), awful things will happen (negative results). A
consequentialist would consider the moral issues with regard to the damages or advantages.
Who is probably going to get hurt? Who is probably going to profit from a specific choice or
Page 32 of 43
activity? A virtue ethics approach would recommend considering the moral issues based on
group norms. Does your group recognise a specific activity as not right? Why or why not?
(Arthur et. al. 2013:125)

Our take is to stop with the main moral issue that rings a bell (Arthur et. al. 2013:125).
For instance, in our UiNVEST cutback case, we may be skewed to stop with the issue of
truthfulness to a friend. Challenge yourself with as number of issues as you can come up with.
Discuss the issues with others and offer some help. Present the issues to your colleagues, to
your partner or to your friends. Ask them if they see different issues which you may have
missed (Arthur et. al. 2013:125).

Identify the Affected Parties

Both consequentialist and deontological thinking include the capacity to recognise the
groups affected by the decision. The consequentialist will need to distinguish each one of the
individuals who will be impacted by the damages and advantages. The deontologist might need
to know whose rights are included and who has the obligation to act in the event. Having the
capacity to see the circumstance through others' eyes is a good thinking aptitude. Lawrence
Thohlberg called this ability "role- taking."

As often as possible, UiNVEST need to think above the realities in a given situation to
recognise all the impacted parties. It generally starts with the people who are instantly impacted
(in our earlier example they are employees, the potentially affected employees and the
manager). After that, logically expand your thinking zone to include broader groups. For
instance, in this situation, UiNVEST may include alternate employees, the nearby group,
remaining others in the organisation who are not affected by the cutback and society at large.
As you consider more of the impacted parties, extra issues will likely ring a bell. For instance,
consider the group. If by chance that this is a residential community with couple of different
bosses, being neutral to the whole group may turn into an issue.

Place yourself in their shoes. How might they fight their case? How might they feel?
Let us take the example of stakeholders, those who have a stake in what an association does
and how it performs. UiNVEST stakeholders include proprietors, chiefs, clients,
representatives, suppliers, advocacy group, government, the environmentalists and
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stockholders. With regard to ethical decision-making in business, we ought to find the
stakeholders impacted by the decision and find out how they are impacted. Attempt to widen
the scope of your thinking. Some stakeholders who are impacted by the decision may not even
be born yet. The best solid case may be the "DES little girls." In the 1940s, DES, a
manufactured oestrogen, was endorsed for pregnant ladies who appeared to be under the threat
of premature delivery. By 1971, evidence showed that DES caused birth defects in female
babies of those affected ladies. On account of the birth deformity, DES female children are
likely to have vaginal tumour particularly between the ages of 15 and 22. In addition, they had
a higher than ordinary rate of cervical cancer (Arthur et. al. 2013:125).

When stakeholders are recognised, the issue can be seen from the perspectives of the
stakeholders via role play. In your area of expertise, get people to genuinely assume the roles.
You will be amazed at how viewpoints change in light of this simple task. What decision would
you conclude given that someone else is in the scenario? This progression links to the Golden
Rule which is to treat others as you might want others to treat you. Envision yourselves as each
of the players in the decision scenario. What decision would they achieve and why?

Another thought is to ask whether you can "test" a possible decision with the affected
parties before your action plan is confirmed. The goal is to gauge how different groups of
onlookers will respond and to have the capacity to change or tweak the choice along the way
(Nash, 1989). One question you could ask yourself is how might other stakeholders respond if
the decision were made public? For instance, envision that ABC Company (in our cutback
case) had another flourishing plant in another location. Notwithstanding, in the decision-
making steps, it is expected that employees would not want to migrate on account of their
commitments to the local group settings. Would it not be better to check with them on their
choices rather than to assume what they would do?

Identify the Consequences

Subsequent to recognising the impacted parties, consider the potential results for each
of these groups. This progression is clearly from the consequentialist approach. It is not
important to distinguish each of the best outcomes. However, you ought to attempt to recognise
outcomes that have a moderately high likelihood of happening and those that would have

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especially negative results in the event that they occur (regardless of the possibility that the
likelihood of event is low). Who might be hurt by a specific choice or activity?

For instance, for UiNVEST situation, coming clean with the employee may cause to
lose her occupation, which would have negative impact for her whole family (particularly if
she is a single parent). Be that as it may, it would give her employee (and apparently other
employees who might be told) the advantage of more opportunities to search for another
employment and sparing numerous families from adverse financial-related outcomes. Can you
figure out which arrangements would fulfil the most net great gain? The utilitarianism approach
would pose the question: "Which choice or activity will create the best purposeful good for the
highest number of individuals?" Would lying to your buddy bring advantage to many people?
On the other hand, would it be better for all impacted parties if you somehow managed to tell
the truth?

There are various types of consequences as discussed as follows:

Long-term versus Short-term Consequences

In UiNVEST business choices, it is standard practice to consider the short-term as well


as the long-term duration outcomes (Avolio et. al. 2014:801). Is it confirmed that your position
will not be affected over time regardless of the possibility that conditions or individuals
change? For this situation, is the long-term soundness of the organisation and the employees
who will stay on the job a priority, as compared to the 200 employees who will be laid off?

Symbolic Consequences

In business, it is additionally critical to consider the typical, predicted outcome of an


activity. Each choice and activity communicates something specific. What message will a
specific choice or activity convey? What does it mean if it is misjudged? For instance, if
UiNVEST managers does not disclose the reality to his employees and they happen to discover
later that they knew about it, what will be the typical message sent by these employees and the
others who work for them? Probably one that says he is keen on protecting his own interest
rather than making sure the employees are taken care off (Avolio et. al. 2014:801).

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Consequences of Secrecy

If a choice is made in private so as to keep away from some negative responses, consider
the potential outcome if the decision to wind up the business becomes public. For instance, the
general public have been angered by the way tobacco organisations concealed their insights
into the negative well-being impact of cigarette smoking (Avolio et. al. 2014:801).

Identify the Obligations

Recognise the commitments included and the purposes behind each commitment
(Barnett & Davis, 2017:721). For instance, consider a manager commitment towards the
impacted individuals. When recognising manager various commitments, make certain to
express the reasons why he has this obligation or commitment. Think as far as the qualities,
standards, characters or results. For example, in case you are thinking about the manager’s
commitment to stay loyal in her obligation to her manager, you are thinking that it may go this
way: "Employee should not break their oath to their supervisor. In the event that he does, the
trust between them will be broken. Oath- keeping and trust are critical values in boss-
subordinate relationship."

This method and the commitments you recognise may change based upon the common
people and the parts they play. For instance, our confidence in the budgetary framework
depends to a limited extent on reviewers' commitment to come clean about the organisation's
financial troubles. Essentially, our confidence in science relies upon the uprightness of the
logical information and how researchers report it (Barnett & Davis, 2017:721).

Consider Your Character and Integrity

In contemplating what you ought to do concerning an ethical problem, it can be helpful


to consider what your group would prefer to be, the sort of choice that a person of upright
character would make under the circumstance (Barnett & Davis, 2017:721). You need to start
by distinguishing the possible group. At this point, you need to decide how the group’s
individuals would assess the decision or activity you are thinking about. A technique that can
help you with this procedure is known as the disclosure rule. It asks whether you would feel
great if your decision or activity was revealed in the daylight and in an open gathering such as
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through The New York Times or some other public medium. Clearly, The New York Times
expects a general group standard. It is imperative that you figure out which medium will be
appropriate in your situation (Barnett & Davis, 2017:721).

If you prefer not to read about it in The New York Times, you presumably should not
do it. In the event that you would be humiliated to have somebody read about your actions in
the daily paper or in the event that you would be awkward telling your parents, children or
friends about your choice, then you may need to reconsider your action (Barnett & Davis,
2017:721).

This sort of approach can be particularly important when a decision needs to be made
rapidly. Assume somebody in your organisation tells you to wrongly describe the advantages
of one of your organisation's products to a client. You can instantly envision how a story
revealing the points of interest of your discussion with the client would appear in tomorrow's
paper. Would you be happy with having others view that discussion? The ideal way is to direct
your business in a manner that your actions and discussions could be unveiled without being
self- humiliated? Another strategy may be to ask the question: "In what capacity will I be
remembered when I'm gone?" Will you be recognised as a self-respecting person?

Think Creatively about Potential Actions

Before deciding on any choice, make sure that you have not pointlessly constrained
yourself into a corner. Is it accurate to say that you have just two options, either "A" or "B"?
As indicated by Jack Edwards, the second man of Cummins Engine Company, who spoke at
the 1994 Conference Board meeting on ethics, it is a priority to search for better options. While
you may have been concentrating on "A" or "B," there is yet another option "C". For instance,
an American agent received an extreme gift from a non-citizen vendor. The circumstance could
be conceptualised as "A" or "B" options. Should he acknowledge the gift (which is against the
organisationÊs policy)? Or should he deny it (which will probably be translated as a slap in the
face by this vital supplier)? The "C" answer is to acknowledge the gift as a gift to the
organisation and would be kept in the main building entrance.

In another example, UiNVEST was experiencing issues with nearby youngsters slicing
through a wire fence and looting profitable electronic segments. The "A" or "B" arrangements
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were to capture or not capture these youthful children. Subsequently, the supervisors could
touch base with the youngsters through the "C" arrangement. They found that the children were
entering the grounds because there were not sufficient classrooms at the nearby school, leaving
the youngsters with little to do thus involving in undesirable activities. Cummins made
classrooms accessible on their site while the mayor provided accreditation, books and
instructors. This "C" arrangement cost UiNVEST almost nothing but it achieved an awesome
outcome. Three hundred and fifty students were placed, the looting issue vanished and
Cummins became known as an esteemed corporate citizen.

Check Your Gut

The focus of this method started with fact collection and assessment steps once you
realised that UiNVEST are confronted with a moral predicament. However, remember your
gut. Sympathy is an essential feeling that can induce mindfulness that somebody may be hurt.
Moreover, instinct is good for business decision-making. At times UiNVEST cannot precisely
say why they are awkward in certain circumstances. In any case, years of socialisation have
likely made them sensitive to circumstances where something is not exactly right. In this way,
if your gut is irritating you, give the circumstance more thought. Truth be told, this might be
your exclusive piece of information that you are confronting an ethical dilemma in the first
place. In such cases, focus on your gut feeling.

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