Business ethics ( Discussion B)

Discussion B: Emerging Business Ethics Issues

Background Information

Welcome to the first discussion. In this course you will be introduced to a topic in the discussion. The first week of the module you will write about your initial thoughts after reviewing the resources. The initial post should be at least 300 words.

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During the following week you will reply to at least two of your classmates. The replies should be at least 100 words. See the discussion rubric for more details on grading.

Discussions should always be completed prior to “class.” If you are in an online class or an on ground course this is prior to the lesson portion of the week. Are you ready to begin?

1. Review the case study:

Time theft can be difficult to measure but is estimated to cost companies hundreds of billions of dollars annually. It is widely believed the average employee “steals” 4.25 hours per week with late arrivals, leaving early, long lunch breaks, inappropriate sick days, excessive socializing, and engaging in personal activities such as online shopping and watching sports while on the job.

Although companies have different viewpoints and policies, the misuse of time and resources has been identified by the Ethics Resource Center as a major form of observed misconduct in organizations. In the latest survey, 33 percent of respondents observed others misusing company time, and 20 percent observed company resource abuse such as theft of office supplies. Therefore, over 50 percent noted misconduct related to resources issues. Often lax enforcement of company policies creates the impression among employees that they are entitled to certain company resources, including how they spend their time at work. Such misuse can range from unauthorized equipment usage to misuse of financial resources.

Using company computer software and Internet services for personal business is one of the most common ways employees misuse company resources. While it may not be acceptable for employees to sit in the lobby chatting with relatives or their stockbrokers, these same employees go online and do the same thing, possibly unnoticed by others. Typical examples of using a computer to abuse company time include sending personal emails, shopping, downloading music, doing personal banking, surfing the Internet for information about sports or romance, or visiting social networking sites such as Facebook. It has been found that March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament, is one of the most significant periods during which employees engage in time theft. Many firms block websites where employees can watch sports events.

2. Initial Post (300 words)
  • Take a position on this issue. Do you believe time theft to be an ethical issue? Do the examples set forth in the paragraphs above truly constitute “stealing” from a company? Why or why not? Please discuss and support your position with course content.