Almost all organizations would like to build a strong reputation of ethical behavior. As a result, codes of ethics and social responsibility agendas are created to restore confidence in employees that organizational management is dedicated to ethical behavior. Managers should recognize and understand their part in developing organizational ethics and take advantage of the chance to built an environment that can bolster the forces on which the successful outcomes of the organization depends. This essay discusses healthcare management ethics.
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Every organization must create an ethical policy. Ethics is a crucial component of corporate culture. As stated by Pera and Van Tonder (2005), ethical organizations work toward meeting the demands of their stockholders, are devoted, and enthusiastic to learn. Managers of ethical organizations possess the moral boldness to promote innovation, accept professional subordinates, initiate change, and conform to values. Managers of healthcare organizations and healthcare providers must look into all features of ethical conduct in their activities. Distinctions between unethical and ethical behavior must be recognized and penalties or punishments established against unethical behavior. The recognition of unethical and ethical behavior is challenging (Benjamin & Sohnen-Moe, 2004). In the greatly complex healthcare organizations nowadays even ethical healthcare professionals are having problems identifying precisely what practices are ethical and what behaviors are unethical.
Management serves a major role in healthcare organizations of today. The management’s risk, on the one hand, is similar to that of employees, whereas on the other hand, management has an obligation to protect the interests and guarantee the safety of the organization. Management should safeguard the health of the organization and this requires balancing the diverse demands of different stakeholders. Employees demand better compensation packages, customers demand better value for their money, while investors and owners demand greater profits (Benjamin & Sohnen-Moe, 2004). It is the duty of management to sustain the balance in the relationship among stakeholders.
Building a Work Environment that Encourages Free Expression of Ethical Concerns
Generally there is agreement about the ethical responsibilities of the organization to employee and human resources issues. The most important asset of the organization is its human resources or people, and many believe that the unethical or improper handling of personnel can result in the failure of the organization’s objective and its capacity to provide public service. An outline of ethical guidelines and policies may be created that, on the surface, appear to be normative. Some examples of these are establishing processes for consensus building, conflict resolution, and participatory decision making; being honest and transparent; providing reasonable compensation; and treating personnel as individuals, not as objects (Morrison, 2009). They also involve shielding against sexual harassment or physical violence in the workplace; establishing reasonable and just disciplinary rules; handling personnel with respect; and making sure that personnel rules are fair and nondiscriminatory (Morrison, 2009).
Apparently, this superficial consensus on normative rules does not guarantee that every employee in the workplace behaves in an ethical way. It is likely to consider unethical conduct as abnormal or deviant practices of unethical personnel or managers, but the core reason could be situated in the organization’s culture or its failure to deal with or regulate the unethical behavior of its personnel. The workforce of healthcare organizations has varied specializations and professional experiences (e.g. managers, nursing, medicine, etc.), and each employee has his/her own view of what is ethical or fair, other than the values established in the organization. Due to this, organizations should place importance on creating a firm ‘ethical’ environment by determining central beliefs and values that are shown by both healthcare providers and patients, who can subsequently conform to them and encourage the organization to abide by them (Pera & Van Tonder, 2005). Healthcare providers could also gain from trainings or educational courses that focus on ethical practices in organizations, enabling them to identify problems as they express themselves on the workplace.
Organizational support should be offered to personnel to make sure that they are given the chance to affirm their rights and live up to their beliefs and values. A particular technique to accomplish this is by giving protection to whistle-blowers in the workplace. If they are not given protection, employees who see unethical practices will be less inclined to disclose or report this, and, if they do, they could endure antagonistic and disappointing consequences for disclosing (Pera & Van Tonder, 2005). Managers have to devote themselves to the protection of the rights of employees and to the involvement of employees in the building, development, and strengthening of the workplace environment.